Pasta con Lenticchie

Why is it that a recipe sounds that bit more glamerous if it’s in a language other than your own? Pasta con Lenticchie simply translated means pasta with lentils. Just change the language and the recipe can change in front of your eyes. Here we are imagining the warmth of a Tuscan evening, sitting outside on your terrace, a bottle of something to sip, some anti-pasta – a bowl of olives, some cheeses and salads followed by a pasta course  A pleasant evening spreads out in front of you, watching the sun dip over the horizon…..

STOP ! You have a busy life, maybe on a budget, you need something tasty and nutritious and quick, or as in my latest re-incarnation, a day on the ski slopes and you are feeling pooped. I know Pasta and Lentils !

Coffee and a view

It’s good old “country” cooking. The sort of dish you rarely see on a restaurant menu, it seems it’s not considered special enough to make it to the menu board. I don’t know why we don’t see more simple dishes in restaurants, classic dishes are classic dishes.

You can add meat to this dish if you like, I’m imagining Italian Sausage chopped up in it would work superbly. But if you are a veggie or want a meat free meal, go ahead and follow the recipe.

The original recipe came from Jamie Oliver, of course I amended the recipe, adapted it for 2 servings and used what ingredients I had in the cupboard. And yes it worked a treat. He used Pardina Lentils, I don’t have those but I do have Puy Lentils and ordinary green lentils so no bother there. I also used a pasta shape called Coquilettes, but any small pasta will be good.

And the flavour? I think this might be a good dish to try out on people whoi think they don’t like lentils.

Pasta con Lenticchie

  • Ingredients Serves 2
  • approx 150g short cut pasta
  • 100g Pardina lentils
  • 1 – 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red dried chilli (optional)
  • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp of either thyme or rosemary
  • 1 -2  tbsp olive oil for sauteing
  • Water to look the lentils
  • A splash of wine (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper to season
  • A sofrito – About 2 tablespoons of seasonal veggies like carrots, celery, root veggies finely chopped, or as I did several handfuls of spinach.

Method ~

  • Using a large pan, heat the olive oil and fry the ‘soffrito’ – the vegetables, the chopped garlic and shallots and the dried red chilli if using, till soft but not browned.
  • Add the chopped tomato and fry for a further minute or so.
  • Add the rosemary / thyme and the lentils.
  • Finally, add a splash of wine (optional) and then the water then cover and cook for 20-25mins, untill lentils are soft.
  • Keep an eye on them and check occasionally to make sure the lentils don\’t dry out too much, adding a little more water if necessary.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • In the meantime cook your pasta and drain.
  • Just before serving mix the hot lentils into the pasta and serve with an extra drizzle of olive oil.


  • I’ve never even thought about doing lentils in pasta, but that’s so smart. Going to have to try that.

  • Wow .. what an amazing view .. mountains everywhere!!! Did you see the birdman, who “flew” from a plane somewhere in the Alps a few days ago?
    Lentils & pasta, who would have thought! I’ll have to try this .. still have tons of garlic from the summer. 🙂

    • No, I missed the bird man, I’ll have to go and google that 🙂
      We’re on our last few bulbs, which considering I lost a fair bit of the crop to white rot is still really good. It should last us through until the end of April (we eat a LOT of garlic) and then I’ll have to wait till the fresh new ones start in June. Aaahhhh fresh garlic scapes 🙂

  • Pasta and lentils … sort of an offshoot of pasta and beans as in minestrone, a nice healthy, filling and very tasty, meal. 🙂

    • Hi there, yes minsetrone without the big soup or sauce. I’ve made this without tomatoes and with out the sofrito and it still works really well!

  • Simple Italian country dishes are so good. I can see myself in the Tuscany countryside right now but would also enjoy sharing a cup of coffee and that view with you.

    • Karen, I’d love to share a cup of coffee and the view with you! It is wonderous, and to be honest I never get bored of it – I have way too many photos to prove it!

    • as I was posting this recipe I thought of you and your comment on the last recipe I posted! the lentils seem to be very much in the background and kind of coat the pasta. I’ve made it with tomatoes and the sofrito and it still tastes great (but then that’s me……)

  • This sounds delicious, Claire, and I’ll definitely be making the dish. Funny, I don’t recall this being served when I was young and I don’t think Zia served it to her family, either. I’ll have to ask. I definitely remember lentils being served but never with pasta. How did they miss this one? I was deprived of so much during my youth! 😉

    • John, I have no idea as to it’s origins, I did try and look, but couldn’t find anything. Maybe it’s very regional, maybe it’s completely made up, or maybe it’s an adaptation of other dishes like lentil soup. And so sorry to hear how deprived you were as a child, what were those lovely ladies thinking of 🙂

  • ah what a lovely view Claire. breath-taking, breath-giving! i can smell the mountain air! lentils (or other legume) + pasta= complete protein. a body would never miss the meat. (though some minds might, mine wouldn’t. 🙂 ) Sounds like a lovely recipe!

    • The view is a favourite of mine, and the coffee is good too 🙂
      and yes it’s a complete meal, plus it’s not overly oily or fatty, in fact it barely has a sauce in the traditional sense being quite dry, but I like that in pasta dishes

  • One of my favorite dishes — and another reason why I love to visit your site. By the way, I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Cheers!

    • That’s great that there is another fan out there (of the recipe) !

      And thanks for the awards I’ll pop over and collect my winnings….. 🙂

    • Doesn’t it sound nice in Italian as oposed to English, I’ve no real idea why though! Maybe it’s the thought of some nice wine to go with it!

  • Wow coffee and WHAT a view!! Looking forward to that view in a few weeks:-)
    May try this recipe. Pretty sure it will taste ok minus the shallots and garlic. There are still enough flavours in there sans the dangerous (for me) stuff!

    • Watcha matey. Unless you ski you won’t get that EXACT view, but you know there are great views wherever we end up. And re the recipe, I reckon you could play around with it, maybe add some Boullion, maybe a bit of celery to give it some depth……
      See you in a couple of weeks … Yaaaay!!

  • Oh Claire! I wish to share the cup of coffee with you, just stunning! The pasta sounds delicious, the final swirl of olive oil is just perfect. I will try this soon and report back on my very own kitchen experiment and family review!

  • You don’t even always need to go to a foreign language on the “name the dish” trick. I used to make “Pasta in Garbanzo Bean (chickpea) Sauce” and discovered that people thought it tasted better if when called it “Garbetti”

  • I also haven’t really thought about putting pasta with lentils but why not? I love that there are red chilies in the recipe and that gorgeous photo of your coffee too.

    • I can’t help myself sometimes and sneak a red chilli into the mix, it did give the dish a lovely background heat and warmth without the big hit of a fresh chilli

  • I agree with you.. restaurants should serve more of this sort of dish.. with the freshest of ingredients it could be a killer dish! I think this also sounds so healthy as well!

    • Hi Smidge, good to see I’m not alone on this one, there’s many a time I’ve been on holiday and not seen the real or more shall we say basic but classic dishes on the menu, and it frustrates me no end!

  • Love the idea of pasta with lentils and I suppose we shouldn´t be surprised – it makes a great veggie bolognese style dish! Here in Spain lentils are served as a “spoon dish” i.e. a thick soup rather than a side dish but I think this would go down very well indeed.

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