Here in Italy we’re used to eat a lot of lentils in the period around New Year’s Eve: almost everywhere you’ll find stew lentils with cotechino or zampone (pork meat) for the dinner of the last night of the year, because lentils are a symbol for money and good luck.
Pasta and lentils is an excellent winter dish to re-use the leftovers but it’s also a very nutrient (it contains a lot of iron and other important minerals) and full of protein all-in-one dish, coming from the italian poor cuisine tradition.
For every so-popular plate there are tons of recipes, but, aside from my aunt’s one, which I don’t know, but I’ll find out and post on Pepe as soon as possible, this is my favorite. ^_^
Ingredients for 4 portions (2 if you’re eating it as all-in-one course or you’re very hungry ^_^):
180 – 200 gr whole pasta (I like spaghetti, broken at the moment, or bavette)
500 gr lentils (I used canned lentils, but you can use what best inspire yourself)
3 spoons of extra virgin olive oil
3 – 4 spoons of finely chopped carrots, onions and celery (the classic italian soffritto)
2 spoons of bio granular vegetal broth
1,5 liter of water
2 cloves of peeled garlic
Kilocalorie per portion:
Pour the water in a pot and let it boil; add the bio vegetal broth.
Meanwhile, in another pot, put the vegetables for our soffritto and the extra virgin oil and make them sauté until you see they’re gilding, then pour a spoonful of hot broth and let it cook for 3 – 4 minutes.
If you bought bio canned lentils or steamed lentils and you see that they already have some tomato sausage in their broth, don’t wash them. If you don’t like the look or the flavor of their water, then wash them (so, you wash away also the salt contained in them and can control the sodium level in your final dish).
Pour the lentils in the pot, adding also the peeled cloves of garlic, the pepper and the rosemary. Let them cook for another 5 minutes, then pour the rest of the broth and let it go for 30 minutes, with a saucepan lid.
Now you can add pasta and let it cook for 10 minutes or for the suggested time on the package.
As many winter recipes, this also is suitable for freezing and using as last minute dinner. ^_^