Place lentils into a saucepan with 2 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until tender but not mushy, about 35 minutes. Set lentils and cooking liquid aside. Heat olive oil in a saute pan and saute onion, carrot, and celery over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add peppers and stir to blend. Add chicken broth, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes.
Cook pasta according to package directions, until just al dente. Drain thoroughly and put into a large warmed bowl. Add lentil mixture and toss gently. Add generous amount of pepper to taste. Pour onion and pepper mixture over the top and toss to combine. Arrange pasta on dinner plates. Top each portion with some crumbled cheese and chopped cilantro or basil.