This recipe happened by mistake, but it turned out to be such a happy (and delicious) accident that we decided we had to share it. I was originally trying to develop a baked pasta and lentil casserole, but I went off-track somewhere between the shopping and the cooking and came up with this skillet dish instead. The great thing is, it’s so tasty that Forks Over Knives founder Brian Wendel christened it Ratatouille Fusilli. The rest, as they say, is history.

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By Darshana Thacker Wendel,


  • 1⁄2 cup green lentils, rinsed and soaked
  • 2 cups fusilli or rotini pasta
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juice
  • 1⁄2 cup finely chopped leeks, both white and light green parts
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 1⁄4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 small (½ pound) unpeeled Italian eggplants, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil


  • Place the lentils in a small saucepan and add 1½ cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are just cooked, about 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside, but do not drain.
  • Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente (avoid overcooking). Drain well and set aside.
  • In a sauté pan over medium heat, combine the tomatoes with their juice, leeks, garlic, and Italian seasoning and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the eggplant and cook partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is completely cooked, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Add the drained pasta, the lentils with their cooking liquid, and the vinegar to the pan. Toss everything together gently until well-combined.
  • Cook until heated through, adding up to 1⁄4 cup water if the mixture seems too dry. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Sprinkle with the basil and serve immediately.


    On Rinsing Grains and Legumes and Soaking Lentils: When dried ingredients such as rice and lentils come in sealed bags, it’s easy to forget that they’re not that different from fresh vegetables and need to be treated similarly. Place whatever you’re rinsing in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Swish it around a few times; the water will often turn creamy white. Drain the water, add fresh water, and repeat 3 or 4 times, or until the water runs clear even after you swish it around. Drain thoroughly before cooking as instructed.

    Soaking the lentils for an hour prior to cooking them will reduce the cooking time in most recipes by 10 to 15 minutes. After soaking, drain them thoroughly and proceed as directed in the recipe, adjusting the cooking time as necessary.

Comments (6)

(5 from 2 votes)

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This was tasty. I cooked the lentils in the pot I sautéed the onions, garlic and tomatoes in for 20 minutes covered, then added the eggplant for the final 20 or so. Seemed to work out well. And I used half the amount of pasta because that's all I had on hand.

Michael Ferron

This is a very flavorful dish. Thanks for helping me to keep my family vegan.

Michael Ferron

Very nice flavor to this dish. After we watched the fork over knives documentary, we changed our eating to vegan lifestyle. Great dish.


Exquisita combinación, lo realice con lentejas comunes , pero me salió buenísimo. Muchas gracias!!!

Jill Princehouse

what are the very thin curly ingredients? The leeks? If so, how do you get them that thin?

Sophia Danforth

That's the curly thin cut basil on top.

About the Author

Headshot of Darshana Thacker

About the Author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit and follow her on Instagram for more.
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