Sicilian Lentil Pasta
This Sicilian Lentil Pasta is one of those ‘as simple as it gets’ dishes. If you love lentils and pasta you have to make this! Since lentils have no particularly strong flavor on their own, pancetta, fresh herbs along with a little chili flake kick helps to transform them and bring out their natural flavor.
Also known as pasta e lenticchie alla Siciliana (now that’s an Italian mouthful) or Sicilian-style lentil pasta, this perfect winter warmer is originally a peasant dish that can be served as a perfect main dish (or as a side dish) with your favorite protein.
The sauce can be prepared 1 of 2 ways: You can make it either soupy or saucy (per the recipe) or allow most of the liquid to reduce, for a thicker texture that coats the pasta.
Speaking of the pasta, I have made this dish in the past using a large rigatoni but the lentils get buried under the weight of the pasta so decided to change it up and started using small (and very cute) ditalini – the outcome is much better.
This is not a vegetarian dish, but it would not take much tweaking to make it so. Simply omit the pancetta and switch the chicken stock/broth for veggie stock/broth. Or, you could chop up vegan bacon or sausage in place of the pancetta. Still a fantastic flavor combination.
I would say whatever you can find. I used brown lentils, but green or red can also be used for a bit of color variation.
Lentils are widely used in Sicilian cooking and while my husband and I have not made the trip to Sicily yet, we have visited Italy many times and sampled some amazing authentic pasta dishes. Sicilians eat lentils as a symbol of good luck and prosperity – so eat up your lentils, they’re good luck and good for you!
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If you’ve made this Sicilian Lentil Pasta or any other recipe, please leave a comment below. I love to hear from my readers.