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  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 8 cups

This truly one-pot meal lets you cook the veggies and pasta all at the same time. As the leeks and dried mushrooms boil with the red lentil rotini, they turn the cooking water into an aromatic broth that makes a lovely sauce. Meanwhile, the leeks take on a light, buttery texture that melds deliciously with noodles. Because red lentil pasta cooks faster than other pastas, it’s best not to substitute whole grain pastas for the rotini here; the timing of this recipe is carefully synced.

Red lentil rotini pasta with silken leeks and cooked dried shiitake mushrooms


  • 1 lemon
  • 1 8.8-oz. package of dry red lentil rotini
  • 3 cups sliced leeks
  • ¾ cup sliced dried shiitake mushrooms or other dried mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boiling. Remove 1 tsp. zest from lemon. Cut the lemon into wedges and set aside.
  2. Add lemon zest, rotini, leeks, mushrooms, and rosemary to the pot. Boil 7 to 8 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Reserve 3 cups cooking water. Drain pasta and vegetables. Return pasta and vegetables to pot. Add enough of the reserved cooking water to moisten the pasta; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the reserved lemon wedges to squeeze over top.

Comments (2)

(3.8 from 5 votes)
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Cris F2 months ago
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Not really flavorful, kinda bland tasting. Like it needs something else. It didn’t look much like the photo either. It’s a simple recipe, not alot to get wrong. Any suggestions?

Lisa Angelina2 months ago
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I’m sorry, I really did not enjoy this. It tasted very oniony and other than that it was very bland. I’m not sure what to do with it. It doesn’t have a traditional pasta taste due to the lentil pasta so maybe some kind of Asian sauce? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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about the author

Mary Margaret Chappell

When Mary Margaret Chappell first started out in the plant-based food world as a writer, editor, and recipe developer, she was a bacon-loving former pastry chef who didn’t think she could ever cook without butter. Fourteen years, four cookbooks, dozens of cooking classes, and hundreds of recipes later, her favorite thing in the world is sharing the tips, techniques, and recipes that show just how easy and delicious whole-food, plant-based cooking can be. The former food editor of Vegetarian Times magazine has done away with her dependency on butter and is honing her skills at baking with natural sweeteners. 

Mary Margaret lives in France, where plant-based eating can often be a challenge, but the fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes available are simply amazing.

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