Neapolitan Pasta with Lentils, or Pasta e Lenticchie: Popular recipes vary considerably from place to place; this version is Neapolitan, and is vegetarian.
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
Yield: 6 servings Pasta and Lentil Soup
- 12 ounces (300 g) green lentils
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- A small bunch parsley, minced
- 3-4 blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes (canned tomatoes will work)
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 pound (500 g) small tubular pasta
- Salt and pepper to taste
Put the lentils in a pot with an inch or so of water to cover, and cook them slowly, covered, over a low flame for about 2 hours. In the meantime bring a second pot of water to a slow boil. When they're done (they'll be soft but not mushy) remove as much water as you can from the pot without removing the lentils, and replace it with the fresh boiling water. Add the oil, garlic (grated would be ideal), tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper, and cook slowly for another half hour.
Cook the pasta until it is half done separately, then drain it and add it to the lentil mixture, together with the parsley. By the time everything is done the soup should be almost dry.