Red Lentil Penne with Middle Eastern Vegetable Ragu and Spicy Schug

Recipe courtesy of Chef Yury Krasilovsky.

3 pounds Barilla Red Lentil Penne
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cups onion, small diced
1/2 cup chopped garlic
6 cups zucchini, small diced
1 tablespoon ground all spice
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups tomato paste
4 quarts water
salt and white pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups tahini
3 cups mint, chopped
1 1/2 cups pine nuts, toasted
Green Schug:
6 each serrano peppers
6 each garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups cilantro
3/4 cup flat leaf parsley
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste
  1. In a large rondo add the olive oil and heat on medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onions, garlic, eggplant and zucchini. Saute for 5 minutes over high heat.
  3. Add the spices and saute for an additional minute.
  4. Add the tomato paste and water then bring to a simmer, making sure to fully incorporate the tomato paste. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper then fold in the tahini, remove the skillet from the heat.
  6. Schug: Combine the jalapeno, garlic, cilantro and parsley in a food processor then pulse until broken down. Fold in the lemon juice, cumin, coriander and olive oil then season to taste.
  7. Fold the schug into the ragu
  8. Cook the pasta according to the directions then drain and combine with the hot sauce.
  9. Garnish with mint and toasted pine nuts.