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 !
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.
- 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.