Pasta and lentils, a recipe to make at home

Pasta and lentils

Pasta and lentils and the food calendar is an iconic dish of the Mediterranean diet

All Italian families had a gastronomic calendar that regulated the appetite and the arrangement of the kitchen. Of your types: seasonal and weekly. In other words, there were dishes and recipes closely associated with the day, which were replaced by others over the months depending on market availability.

This cooking hour exploded, because the ovens in the houses went out and life changed for everyone: unfortunately, cooking outside the home often obeys other rules and other economies, so that food has become an opportunity for pleasure and above all for refreshment. a gesture that you have to defend yourself.

Some of the specifics: yeast and frozen pastries that cause digestive problems, saturated fats that cannot be controlled outside of the home, and excessive use of salt, which is not only harmful, but also spoils the taste.

Personally, I am very suspicious of famous salads of unknown origin and treatment, never chicken, in the end I think the best is always a plate of pasta with fish or tomato sauce. But let’s get back to the food calendar.

For some mysterious and never-to-be-deciphered reason, Wednesday has always been lentil pasta day in my house, replaced by fresh spollichini in the spring. So it’s been over twenty years. I am giving you a very simple recipe to make because the beans cook by themselves. Lentils are especially popular in the Center and South, as are beans, peas and chickpeas, Neapolitan delicacies and trattorias always offer them, and needless to say, they are truly a nutritional powerhouse as well as a good luck charm.

Pasta and Lentils: a complete meal rich in fiber and protein, without animal fat, following the plastic laws of the Mediterranean diet of the past.

Altamura lentils

A separate chapter: pasta
In this case, the industry is definitely good, the cooking is regulated more precisely, small and short, even mixed in the Neapolitan version or even broken spaghetti.

What to do
After serving, pour the crude oil into the bowl. Unfortunately, it is a widespread custom that completely changes every recipe. Crude oil is useful only in bread and salads.

The modern era
Well, if you want to cook the dish in ten minutes, you can use canned lentils instead of dried ones. Even if it doesn’t taste the same.

Suffice it to say, legume broth is one of the best things in the world to dip a nice slice of Cilento or San Sebastiano al Vesuvio bread into, that is, the slightly compact and hard ones.
But at least on a nutritional level, you’re pretty good.

But in this case, the first preparation is better, because it is the only one that can give a little tone to the dish with garlic and oil.

  • 15 minutesPreparation time
  • 30 minutesCooking time
  • 4.4 / 5Rate this recipe

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 400 grams of pasta (mix or tubettini or conchigliette from industrial pasta factories)
  • 400 grams of lentils
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • dry pepper or pepper
  • 2 cloves of non-Chinese garlic
  • The secret to lentil pasta is oil. It should be of good quality, not overly spicy, but fresh.


First technique, Neapolitan style

But start by cooking the dried lentils in plenty of water, at least two liters.
Some recommend soaking legumes, but with lentils and chickpeas you don’t need to.
When it boils, reduce the heat and let it sizzle (like a wise pipe smoker every now and then) until the beans are almost completely cooked.
Sprinkle with salt.
Meanwhile, in a separate large pan, preferably an earthenware vessel, for dishes such as wine from good wood, start by frying the garlic in olive oil, say a tablespoon each.

You can go up to six for four people, but not more, otherwise it gets greasy, greasy.
After draining the lentils and removing the garlic, finish cooking (I leave).

At this point, pour the pasta, test the salt again, raise the heat and wait until cooked. Let it rest for four to five minutes. Add pepper and serve. If you use pepper, it is better to fry it with garlic in the beginning. The result will be a perfect pasta, as they say in Naples, that is, without water.

Proof is a fork or spoon that should stand upright on the plate. In the city, people like to eat bean pasta in this way, and it is the most common, so the broth effect, a soup to understand, is looked down upon. In fact, the spoon is said to be used by peasants, i.e. people living outside the city, even sometimes to help themselves with this knife to wrap spaghetti on a fork. The Neapolitans use the fork as the Chinese use the stick. The taste of this preparation reinforces the connection between legumes and garlic, let’s say that the latter often characterizes the dish.

The second technique, for the peasant
The method of cooking lentils does not change, the difference is that when cooking, garlic and oil are placed directly in the pot. If you want, you can start immediately after the first boil.

The garlic will soften until it almost falls apart on the plate. At this time, the pasta is cooked separately and poured into the bowl at the same time as the beans, closed and left to rest. It is an alternative to stale peasant bread.

The result will be almost a soup effect, half broth but not quite broth, where the recipe is characterized above all by the balance between beans and oil.

The wines were paired: Lacryma Christi rosé

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