Lentils- Italian Way


An autumn or winter favourite. You will enjoy this simple and healthy plate.

Lentils are fabulous for the amount of good qualities they have for our body, and especially with this cold weather, they represent an ideal comfort food.

You can have them without pancetta or lardons if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, this is definitely a plate for everyone.

In Italy we usually serve this during the dinner of the 31st of December to say goodbye to the year and as a good wish, for money mostly, for the new year coming.

Personally I always cook one kilo of them, just in case, and force Francesca as well to eat them, at least for this occasion!

We hope you will enjoy this


Ingredients

250 gr of green lentils

1 tin of plummed tomatoes

1/4 of white onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped and cut in little squares

1/2 stalk of celery, finely diced

160 gr of Italian pancetta or lardons

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt


Method


If your green lentils need to stay in the water, please follow the instructions you find in the bag. Usually you should put them in cold water from the night before if you like to cook them for lunch. If you are using green lentils that do not need this step, you can add them directly when stated in the recipe.

Chop the onion and the carrot in little squares and do the same with your celery.

In a pan, add two spoons of extra virgin olive oil, and warm it up.

When hot, add your veggies and stir fry them like in a "soffritto" for a ragu'.

When golden, add the bacon and let it cook at a low temperature.

Now add your lentils and let them take all these amazing flavours for one or two minutes stirring with a spoon.

Now add the passata or the plummed tomatoes that you previously blended and a glass of water.

Add 1/2 spoon of sea salt and adjust it during the cooking time. If you like, you can also add a leaf of rosemary to give that extra flavour.

Now slow cook for around 20/30 minutes or until the lentils are cooked, stirring from time to time and adding some water if you think is needed.

Enjoy with some mashed potatoes on the side and with some warm bread.