Pasta with Lentils and Pancetta

Pasta con Lenticchie e Pancetta

Cooking With Nick Stellino
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Ingredients:

3 Tablespoon Olive Oil
¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
4 large cloves of Garlic, thickly sliced
¼ pound of Pancetta, or Bacon cut into a ¼" dice
½ cup finely diced carrot, about one medium
½ cup finely diced celery, about 1 ½ stalks
½ cup finely diced onions
3/4 cup white Wine
1 28 ounce can of Italian style peeled Tomatoes, drained and chopped - (reserve the juices)
10 Basil leaves, rolled like a cigarette and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon dried Thyme
½ teaspoon Sugar
¼ teaspoon Salt
2 ½ cups Chicken Stock
¾ cup dried lentils, rinsed, picked free of stones, and drained
1 pound pasta, penne rigate, tortiglioni, fusilli or orechiette
6 Tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Basil leaves for garnish

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Serves 6
Printable Version
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. (for the pasta).
In a large, deep sauté pan cooking over medium-high heat add the olive oil,the red pepper flakes and the garlic. Sauté until the garlic turns a light brown color,2-3 minutes
Add the Pancetta and sauté for one minute.
Add the carrots, celery and onions. Sauté until the onions are very soft, about 8 - 10 minutes.
Deglaze with white wine. Reduce by about 1/3, cooking for approximately 5 - 7 minutes.
Add drained tomatoes, basil, thyme, sugar and salt. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes
Add stock and reserved juice of tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, add lentils and simmer for about 25 - 30 minutes until al dente. The sauce will thicken as the lentils cook and absorb liquid. Start checking/tasting the lentils after 20 minutes. You do not want them to get mushy. They should be cooked through but firm. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, drain and return to the pot. Pour the sauce over the pasta, and simmer over low heat stirring constantly, until the pasta is well coated, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the cheese and stir well.
Garnish with basil leaves.
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