FORZA! Italia Lentils

By Gina Caputo

FORZA! Italia Lentils

In solidarity with my Italian brothers and sisters, I give you FORZA! Well, the dish gives you forza anyway. This lentils and pasta dish is inspired by a Roman classic. The greens were my idea. Eat it in good health, in bad health or simply to everyone's health!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ -1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cups green, brown or Puy lentils, rinsed and any stones removed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and black pepper 
  • Clamshell of super greens
  • 16oz of your favorite small pasta (or rice)

Instructions:

  1. Cover the base of a large pot with olive oil over a medium heat, add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped vegetables and cook until they are soft, but not browning.
  3. Add the lentils and bay leaves to the pot. Cover the lentils and veg with an inch of water or broth, if you prefer.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. Cook anywhere from 25-45 minutes depending on your lentils. You want them to remain toothsome but tender and there’s still liquid in the pan (add more along the way as needed).
  5. Meanwhile, cook your pasta or rice according to package directions in a separate pot. Drain when done.
  6. Remove bay leaves from the lentils. Check seasoning and adjust to your liking.
  7. Add the pasta to your lentil/vegetable mixture. Add the whole clamshell of greens, combine with the lentils and pasta and put the lid on for 3 minutes to wilt the greens.
  8. Stir again, check seasoning. Serve in soup bowls with a drizzle of olive oil or grated pecorino romano or parmesan.