Pasta E Lenticchie
Pasta E Lenticchie
Lentils are among the world’s oldest cultivated legumes: historic mentions go back at least 2700 years! The Ancient Greeks and Romans prized them both for their savory taste and their healthful properties, which include proteins, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Small round lentils often make people think of coins, so they have come to symbolize prosperity as well. Health and wealth? It should come as no surprise to note that lentils are part of a traditional New Year’s Day meal in Italy and many other places around the world. However, the tradition of Pasta with Lentils goes well beyond to be a popular dish throughout the fall and winter season.
- 8 oz dry lentils (green or black)
- 2 bay leaves (fresh or dried)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (extra for garnishing soup)
- 3/4 cup red onions (¼” diced)
- 3/4 cup carrots, ¼” diced
- 3/4 cup celery, ¼” diced (reserve some tender celery sprigs for garnish)
- 2 tbsp fresh garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- A generous pinch of cracked black pepper
- 14 oz tomatoes (peeled or crushed)
- Salt to taste
- 4 to 6 Cups vegetable broth (homemade chicken or beef broth are also OK)
- 8 oz Ditalini (or tubettini) pasta
- A generous sprinkle of Parmigiano Reggiano
Dice vegetables and start your soffritto (This is the flavor foundation for the soup, explainedin steps 3 and 4)
In a separate pot ,heat broth and keep warm.
Heat the oil in a large heavy pot and add vegetables (carrots, celery, onions, garlic) along with the chopped herbs, black pepper and chili pepper.
Cook soffritto for at least ten minutes, until golden and fragrant.
Add tomatoes, stir, and cook for 10 minutes on low heat, keeping a steady simmer.Stir often with a wooden spoon, breaking up tomatoes as you mix.
Add 4 cups of vegetable broth and bring to a simmer.
Season with salt to taste.
Rinse and pick over the lentils and add them to the pot. Simmer on low heat for 40 minutes or until lentils are tender. (Small black lentils cook a little faster, so check often for desired tenderness.)
Add raw pasta directly to the soup and cook according to package directions (usually about 10 minutes),stirring often. You can add more broth if a soupier texture is preferred.
Once pasta is cooked,transfer to individual bowls, garnish with chopped celery leaves, a few drops of EVOO, and grated Parmigiano Reggiano if desired. Buon appetito and SHARE THE PASTA!!