Okay, so this is most definitely not an authentic version of the Middle Eastern recipe (a quick Google search tells me Rishta is often a soup, which this is not).  But, on the plus side, it is (1) delicious, (2) healthy (lentils!), (3) easy, (4) involves pasta, and (5) my kids like it (see #4).  I make this about once a week for our family!


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups diced onions (don’t worry – your kids won’t notice them once its all mixed together!)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 (28 oz.) can of diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 – 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 12 oz. gluten free elbow macaroni


  1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
  2. Add the onions and cook, stirring until the onions are a dark, golden brown.  This usually takes a good 15 – 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic and cook for one minute.
  4. Add the lentils and vegetable stock.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium low and cook until the lentils are tender, about 25 minutes.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes, cumin, coriander, and allspice.  Cook for about 10 minutes covered, then uncover and cook for another 10 minutes.
  6. After stirring in the tomatoes and spices in step 5, put the water on, bring to a boil, and cook the pasta.
  7. While the pasta is cooking, toast the cumin seeds lightly in a dry skillet.
  8. Once the pasta is cooked, add it to the lentil sauce and mix well.
  9. Serve, garnishing with the toasted cumin seeds.  (I omit the cumin seeds for my kids’ servings.)


Adapted from: The Joy of Cooking, by Irma Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker, 1997, p. 281.





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