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Haloumi and Puy Lentil Pasta

This recipe is a favourite winter warmer from Rachel's Green Seasons Cookbook. Puy lentils give this pasta dish a robust wintry feel, and the gremolata adds a warm chilli kick.

Haloumi and Puy Lentil Pasta

Serves: 4


  • 100g puy lentils
  • 340ml water
  • ½ tsp bouillon powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 small bulbs of fennel, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g haloumi, thickly sliced (3/4 cm)
  • 125g baby spinach
  • 2 tbsps crème fraîche
  • 2 tbsps fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 75-100g festoni or penne per serving


  • 3 small red chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tsps fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 1 tsp olive oil


  1. Place the puy lentils in a pan with the bay leaf, boullion powder and water and simmer until tender, adding more liquid if necessary. When cooked drain, rinse under cold water. Set aside.
  2. To make the gremolata: n a mini food processor, whiz the chillies, garlic, oregano and white bread to a breadcrumb consistency. Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan and stir-fry until golden and crispy, then decant onto a piece of paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
  3. Fry the fennel in the olive oil, until it has softened and starts to caramelize.
  4. Set the fennel to one side and dry fry the haloumi until golden on both sides. Chop into chunks.
  5. Cook the festoni or penne in a big pan of boiling water with a pinch of salt and a drop of olive oil.
  6. When the pasta is cooked “al dente”, drain off most of the water leaving a couple of tablespoons in the pan. Keep the heat on very low. Stir in the crème fraîche, parsley, spinach, puy lentils, fennel and haloumi.
  7. When the spinach has wilted and everything has heated through season to taste and serve with a sprinkling of the gremolata.

Haloumi and Puy Lentil Pasta - Edited

Photo by Mark Wood