J:

A couple weeks ago, I had a Sunday with the lowest turnout to
date. There were just three, including me. One roommate was
out of town, AnnMarie was sick, Beth's family was in town
visiting, and various other people couldn't make it for one
reason or another. If it had just been me and my roommates, I
probably would have called it off, but Catherine showed up, and
then what was I going to do, send her home?

1 lb rapini
olive oil
crushed red pepper, to taste
a few garlic cloves, minced
1 lb pasta (I used linguinni)

Rinse and coarsly chop the greens and cook about 3 minutes in
boiling, salted water. You need to save the cooking liquid, so
use a strainer to cook them, or cook them whole and chop them
when they come out, or fish them out piece by piece with a
slotted spoon. Saute the pepper and garlic in the olive oil
until garlic is golden. Add the greens and saute while you
cook the pasta in the same liquid you used for the greens.
Pour the greens on the pasta and toss.

As usual with rapini and pasta dishes, it doesn't stick real
well to the pasta, which is probably why the real Italian
recipes always use orecchiette (little ears) pasta. Then it
tosses better.

I know Dal is Indian and Rapini with pasta is Italian and they
don't really go together, but you have to have a little
protein. I pressure cooked

2 cups lentils
5 1/2 cups water
spices

for 8 minutes at high pressure. Tell me you can do that without a
pressure cooker. For the spices, I used (I'm guessing on the
amounts -- I did it by eye and just went through my spice drawer
and used what looked like it should go in Dal)

1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, ground
1/2 tsp coriander, ground
1 tsp cumin, ground
1/2 tsp curry powder, hot
1/2 tsp mustard, dried, ground
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp turmeric

Not counting shopping, I think this meal was ready in 40 minutes.