Start to finish: 40 minutes
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon ground dry ginger
28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
12 ounces elbow or ditalini pasta
15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
Half of a 15-ounce can brown lentils, drained
Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the rice, cover the pan and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 20 minutes. When the rice is done, fluff with a fork, cover and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the garlic, cumin, cayenne and ginger, and heat for 30 seconds. Add the diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer.
While the tomatoes simmer, in a large sauté pan over medium-high, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and sauté until starting to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the pasta and continue to sauté until the pasta begins to brown, about another 5 to 6 minutes.
Stir the chickpeas, lentils and 4 cups water into the pasta mixture. Bring to a simmer. Cook until the water is absorbed and the pasta is tender. If needed, add additional water 1/4 cup at a time until the pasta is cooked. Season the pasta mixture with salt and pepper. Season the tomato mixture with a splash or two of vinegar and a bit of salt.
To serve, make a pile of rice on each serving plate. Spoon some of the pasta mixture over the rice, then ladle the tomato sauce over that. Makes 8 servings.
Per serving: 440 calories, 40 calories from fat (9 percent of total calories), 5 g fat (0.5 g saturated, 0 trans fats) 0 cholesterol; 87 g carbohydrate, 13 g protein, 8 g fiber, 490 mg sodium.