Pasta with Lentils.
Pasta Lenticchie is a standby of many Italian American families, just as it’s sister soup, Zuppa di Lenticchie (Lentil Soup). As is with many of the older Italian-American recipes that areprimarily from the south, including from; Sicily, Campania (around Naples),Apulia, and Calabria, this is a dish of the poor (Cucina Povera), as all the ingredients, other than the cheese are quite cheap. And for those families who couldn’t afford cheese, they simply didn’t use it. They might use toasted breadcrumbs instead, from some leftover bread. Nowadays just about anyone can afford cheese, so we highly recommend you dressing your pasta with a drizzle of Olive Oil and some grated Pecorino or Caciocavallo Cheese, it’s oh so tasty.
8 ounce dry Lentils
8 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 medium Onion, peeled and minced fine
2 stalks Celery, washed and minced fine
5 cloves Garlic, peeled and minced fine
1 cup chopped San Marzano Plum Tomatoes
2 Chicken Bullion Cubes (optional)
1 Bay Leaf
1 – 10 ounce package frozen Spinach, thawed
1 pound Pasta; Gemelli, Small Shells, or Fusilli
grated Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano, or Grana
Place ¼ cup of olive oil and onions in a large 6 quart pot. Cook on low heat for 5
minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add Celery and cook for 4 minutes. Add red pepper cook and garlic and cook for 2
Add tomatoes and cook on high heat for 4 minutes. Add Lentils and cook 3 minutes
while stirring with a wooden spoon.
Add Bay Leaf and water to cover the lentils by 1 inch. Cook at a medium simmer
until lentils are tender but have a bit of firmness to them, about 22 minutes.
Chop the thawed spinach, add to lentils and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.
Cook pasta as per the directions on package. When finished cooking, drain into a
colander, reserving a few tablespoons of water to add to pasta.
Put the drained pasta back into the pot it cook in and drizzle with some Olive Oil.
Using a large slotted spoon, add lentils to the past and mix. Add a little bit
of the pasta cooking water if you need it. You don’t want the pasta to be
watery, but you do want it to be a little loose. Do this by adding only small
amounts of liquid at a time until you have reached the consistency that you
Plate into shallow past bowls, drizzle with a bit more olive oil and pass the grated
This is a vegetarian dish, but if you like to add meat, you can sauté some
Italian Sausages and add to this recipe.
Add some sausage to each bowl and enjoy.
EXCERPTED From GRANDMA BELLINO’S ITALIAN COOKBOOK by Daniel Bellino “Z”
“RECIPES FROM MY SICILIAN NONNA”
GREAT SICILIAN RECIPES INSIDE !!!
ZUPPA di LENCTICCHI
Pasta Lentichie is actually made from Zuppa di Lenticchie. You make the soup, then take some it, draining off most of the broil so you end up with mostly the solids of Lentils with the chopped onion and carrot within. You cook whichever pasta you like then use these drained Lentils as the Sauce for the Maccheroni, and dressed with good quality Olive Oil and grated cheese (Caciacavallo, Pecorino, or Parmigiano).