Pasta and lentils

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PRESENTATION

Pasta and lentils

Our grandmothers might not have called it "comfort food" but, of course, every time they cooked pasta and lentils they did so with a mission: to prepare a hearty and tasty dish, capable of warming up the whole family even on the coldest winter days. Lentils, rich in vitamins, iron, and fiber, are considered an excellent substitute for meat. In this recipe they create a rich first course, flavored with pancetta bacon, which can be prepared brothy or dry depending on your preferences. We used Ditaloni Rigati pasta, but you can take this opportunity to use different pasta shapes left over in your pantry. Pasta and lentils is the perfect antidote to bad weather: a genuine dish to recharge your batteries.

INGREDIENTS
Ditaloni Rigati pasta 3 cups (350 g)
Lentils 0.85 cup (200 g)
Smoked pancetta 5 ½ tbsp (80 g)
Tomato puree 0.95 cup (100 g)
Carrots 5 ½ tbsp (80 g)
Onions 5 ½ tbsp (80 g)
Celery 4.4 tbsp (60 g)
Vegetable broth 4 ¼ cups (1 l)
Fresh garlic 1 clove
Rosemary 1 sprig
Thyme 1 sprig
Parmigiano Reggiano DOP cheese ½ cup (40 g) - to be grated
Peperoncino ¼ tsp (1 g) - dried
Extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp (30 g)
Fine salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Preparation

How to prepare Pasta and lentils

To prepare pasta and lentils, start by heating up the filtered vegetable borth: you will need it soon. Then proceed to the preparation of the sautéed base: chop the onion, celery, and carrot 1 then, in a large saucepan, pour the oil 2 and add the chopped onion, celery, and carrot 2. Then add the peeled garlic clove 3.

Deglaze with a ladle of broth 4 and let this mixture stew. In the meantime, cut the pancetta bacon into cubes 5 and place it into the saucepan 6.

Mix all the ingredients well, then, using tongs, remove the garlic clove 7. Rinse the lentils under running water, using a sieve 8 and add them to the pan 9.

Also add the chopped dried chili pepper 10, mix in the tomato puree 11, and add the sprigs of rosemary and thyme, which you can tie together with kitchen string 12 so that they are easier to remove later.

Add the broth until the mixture is well covered 13, then cover the saucepan 14 and leave to cook over low heat for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are tender. After this time, remove the sprig of herbs 15 and pour in your pasta.

Add a few ladles of broth to cook the pasta 16 and leave to cook for about ten minutes. Once the pasta is ready, you can decide: if you prefer a more brothy dish, add more broth until the desired consistency is obtained. Once the pasta is cooked, season with salt and pepper and add grated Parmesan cheese 17: you can use half a ladle of broth again to help mix in the cheese. Let it rest for a few minutes before serving 18. Your pasta and lentils are ready to be enjoyed!

Storage

Pasta and lentils can be stored for 2 days in the fridge, well sealed in a container.

Freezing is not recommended.

Tips

If you prefer to omit the pancetta bacon, use some Parmesan crusts to give the pasta and lentils a boost of flavor. For an even more creamy result you can add a few potato cubes.