Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Linguine with Spinach, Artichokes and Red Lentil Sauce .... a.k.a. Epic Fail

Okay. Maybe not epic fail but, as Olivia asked, "Are you gonna write about the stuff that sucks too?" Answer: Yes.

So, here's what the dinner was supposed to look like:

And this is what it actually looked like:

We could blame our photography skills, but really there were problems from the get-go. While shopping we balked at paying $5+ for the red lentils when brown lentils were only $2. They're interchangeable, right?

Um, wrong!

Turns out brown lentils take 2x longer to cook than red lentils and they "hold their shape" -- meaning it's kinda hard to make a sauce. Instead, ours was more like a paste.

But seriously, we should have stopped before we started. We knew we were pushing it by trying to combine artichokes, spinach and whole wheat linguine - almost a certain fail with 2/5 of our house. Unfortunately, it was a fail for all of us (and, if these reviews are any indication, for many other people as well). The question is: was it the recipe or was it poor execution? Probably a bit of both, so if we try this again we'll be sure to pay the extra $3, follow the recipe, and not making any substitutions. Now onto the reviews ...

Jason -- It was very bland, which is surprising given the different ingredients. I think the "sweetness" from the red lentils could have really helped to liven it up.

Tanya -- meh. Pasty, bland, couldn't even taste the artichoke. meh.

Miranda -- took one look and decided to bake some popcorn scrimps from a box instead. (Tanya snuck a couple. Much yummier than the pasta.)

Olivia -- (scrinches up her nose and shakes her head 'no')

Hannah -- I thought it was too plain so I added pepper and salt to it and then it was better. But then it was still bland because usually I don't really like wheat noodles and they were wheat, so that was a downer for me. But I did like the 'leaves' (a.k.a. spinach).

Will someone else (Mary?!?) give it a try and let us know if you get a better result?


  1. (This is from Mary. Sarah has a google account and I don't have any of the accounts they ask for) I had seen this and thought I'd try it. For my family's tastes, it sounds really good! We love red lentils! What kind of wheat pasta did you use? We like the 365. Also, where were you looking for the lentils? the bulk area at Whole Foods? I buy them really cheap at the Pita Bakery on West Valley.

  2. Thanks for the tip on Pita Bakery! We still haven't been there... this might be just the thing to get us there.

    If/when you try the recipe would you let us know how it turns out!

  3. Hey, Im going to be trying this recipe tonight. I will definitely be giving a review on my blog if you'd like to check it out :)

    really hoping mine turns out remotely decent. I've always been eh eh when it comes to trying out new recipes. Im the type that normally sticks with what I know but Im trying to break that, lol

    wish me luck!