In the November edition of Don't Call Me Chef, we wrote about using whatever was in the fridge or pantry to make a dish. I actually do that a lot at home. Yesterday, I noticed a couple of carrots that were already sprouting new babies and some wilted coriander (cilantro) in my vegetable crisper. So I threw them together, added some spices and made a sauce for rigatoni (regular visitors will notice I eat a lot of pasta). The root ginger adds a soothing heat (I have a cough and it was good for my throat) so I did not add any pepper. The carrots don't need to be peeled and except for the root part of the coriander, everything was used. Economical, delicious and, if this is your thing, healthy too.
2 medium carrots, finely diced
1 tablespoon red lentils
2cm piece fresh root ginger, shredded
Large pinch of cumin seeds
1 small bunch fresh coriander
Large pinch of dried rosemary
1/2-3/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock Salt to taste
3 handfuls of dried rigatoni, cooked
Tear off the leaves from the coriander and roughly chop. Mince the stalks.
Heat a little oil in a medium saucepan and add the carrot to sweat. Add lentils, root ginger and cumin seeds and stir for 1 minute. Add coriander stalks and rosemary, and enough stock to cover the carrots. Put on the pot lid and simmer until carrot and lentils are soft, about 15 minutes.
Take off heat and blend till smooth. Return to heat and bring to the boil; season to taste. Toss in rigatoni and sprinkle with coriander leaves.