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Pasta e Lenticchie, frugal and my way

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    Pasta e Lenticchie, frugal and my way

    This has been a family tradition for a very long time, and is dead simple to make. It is also inexpensive, vegetarian, freezes easily (great for quick meals), is high in fiber, and very tasty. All you need is some time to make it.

    1 pound of dry lentils
    Olive oil
    A couple onions
    4-5 cloves of garlic
    Salt
    Pepper

    1. Sort the lentils to remove stones and sticks, place in large pot and cover with cold water overnight.

    2. Keeping the soak water, drain out the lentils. Boil the soak water.

    3. Chop up the onion and garlic, sautee in very large pot with olive oil, until translucent.

    4. Add the boiling soak water and lentils, bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to low simmer. In the meantime, boil more water in the soak water pot.

    5. Add salt and pepper, low initially, because the lentils will reduce and flavors increase. Add enough of the boiling water once to achieve loose and soupy consistency. Cook for about 4-6 hours, stirring every 20 minutes. Be careful with scorching. Check for salt/pepper toward end.

    6. You're done when it has a thick/runny consistency. (Clarification: there will be maybe 20% whole lentils, and the rest will be lentil skins and the degraded lentils.)

    To serve: cook up some small pasta (ditalini, elbows, spirals, etc), serve the pasta to each bowl, and then ladle lentils over pasta. The classic accompaniment is extra virgin olive oil and fresh parmesan, guest flavors their bowl as desired.

    I usually make up a double batch and then freeze most of it.
    Last edited by JoeP; 03-13-2013, 09:16 AM.

    #2
    So you cook the lentils until they slip out of their skins and degrade to gravy which you serve over pasta?
    "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

    "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass

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      #3
      Originally posted by Joan.of.the.Arch View Post
      So you cook the lentils until they slip out of their skins and degrade to gravy which you serve over pasta?
      Pretty much, but there will still be maybe 20% whole lentils in the mix. The simmer is very gentle.

      I think this runs us maybe $8 for a batch with a lot for leftover and to freeze, so it is a great frugal dish.

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        #4
        I love cooking and use lentils all the time, so I'll have to try this... Is the 'lentil sauce' very flavorful? I love garlic/onion, but is that flavor strong enough to be picked up over pasta? Also, have you ever added some herbs (like basil & oregano) to the mix?
        "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

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          #5
          Originally posted by kork13 View Post
          I love cooking and use lentils all the time, so I'll have to try this... Is the 'lentil sauce' very flavorful? I love garlic/onion, but is that flavor strong enough to be picked up over pasta? Also, have you ever added some herbs (like basil & oregano) to the mix?
          VERY flavorful! There is not much as far as ingredients, so the earthy lentil taste along with the onion make a powerful and simple delight. When you serve, go light on the pasta, maybe 1/2c cooked, and at least 3/4c lentils. The optional parm cheese and olive oil at serve time give more flavor as well.

          I'd suggest adding salt in your bowl to taste, and then once you find the sweet spot, make the pot taste that way as you cook it down next time (or even go back and salt it more before you freeze or refrigerate).

          Let me know what you think. I'm really anxious to hear how people outside of my family perceive this. We affectionately call it MUD in our house!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by JoeP View Post
            VERY flavorful! There is not much as far as ingredients, so the earthy lentil taste along with the onion make a powerful and simple delight. When you serve, go light on the pasta, maybe 1/2c cooked, and at least 3/4c lentils. The optional parm cheese and olive oil at serve time give more flavor as well.

            I'd suggest adding salt in your bowl to taste, and then once you find the sweet spot, make the pot taste that way as you cook it down next time (or even go back and salt it more before you freeze or refrigerate).

            Let me know what you think. I'm really anxious to hear how people outside of my family perceive this. We affectionately call it MUD in our house!
            Cool. I'm going shopping today, so I'll pick up some extra lentils and give it a shot this week then let you know. And just checking... Since you mean for this to reduce, you're cooking it uncovered, correct?

            I think I'll find myself doing two batches... One following tight to your version, then another just to try adding a few other ingredients I'm dreaming up as I type... haha
            "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by kork13 View Post
              Cool. I'm going shopping today, so I'll pick up some extra lentils and give it a shot this week then let you know. And just checking... Since you mean for this to reduce, you're cooking it uncovered, correct?

              I think I'll find myself doing two batches... One following tight to your version, then another just to try adding a few other ingredients I'm dreaming up as I type... haha
              Yep, starts out like a real runny soup, and reduce with the lid off and the flame real low.

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                #8
                So I was able to make & try this, and I must say it was a bit surprising all around. First off, it actually tasted quite good. I'm not sure if I possibly over-reduced it, but it actually had the appearance & texture of refried beans (which I suppose makes sense, lentils are really just like other beans/legumes). I tried it with pasta (penne) as you suggested, and it was enormously filling. For the same amount of pasta that I normally make, I started to feel full after only getting halfway through my portion. The only negative I'll say (besides the obvious appearance) is that the texture somewhat overwhelmed the pasta. Again, that might be a function of possibly over-reducing (though I only cooked everything for half the time).... But with pasta, I found myself desiring a more "saucy" sauce.

                Overall though, very good... and it really was quite flavorful. The onion/garlic flavor was significant, and I really liked it. I'll have to experiment with it all to see how else I can use it -- I made enough to freeze 3 full ice cube trays of it, so it should be able to last me a good while.
                "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

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                  #9
                  Glad you liked it! Sounds like you may have over-reduced it...should be a bit runny. I sometimes add a few cups of boiling water if it starts to thicken too much before the lentils start falling apart. I normally set aside 4-5 hours on a Sunday to make it. It freezes well and you can have a meal in the time it takes to boil water and make the pasta.

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