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Light Pasta Pomodoro with Lentils

1 can vegetable broth
juice from 1 can Rotel tomatoes (set aside the tomatoes)
1/2 cup lentils
1 jar pasta sauce
1/4 cup red wine
3 cups penne rigate or mostaccoli, uncooked
1 to 2 cups shredded, part-skim mozzarella or smoked mozzarella cheese

In a small saucepan, stir together broth and Rotel juice; heat to
boiling. Add lentils; reduce heat. Simmer 35 minutes, covered,
or until lentils are tender; drain. (Now, I add a few whole cloves
of garlic and some pepper to this, straining out the garlic cloves
when I strain the lentils...I think it just adds some nice flavor
to the lentils).

In a medium saucepan, stir together pasta sauce, Rotel tomatoes,
wine and drained lentils; heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cook 5
minutes. (At this stage, I often add some chopped, fresh onions,
green/red/yellow peppers and minced fresh garlic...I think it adds
character to jarred sauce.)

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to
package directions; drain. (I cook the pasta about 15 mins. into
the lentils' cooking time, so that everything gets done together.)

Stir together pasta and about 2 1/2 cups sauce. Spread into 11 x
7 inch baking dish. Spoon remaining sauce over top, covering pasta
completely; sprinkle with cheese.

Bake 10 minutes or until cheese melts. (When using two cups cheese,
I lower the oven temp to 350 degrees F and bake 20 to 30 minutes
so that everything blends well and the cheese browns and crisps

This is a real treat at potlucks and people rarely realize they're
going vegetarian (especially with the caviar lentils)


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