of many Italian American families, just as it’s sister soup, Zuppa di Lenticchie
(Lentil Soup). As is with many of the older Italian-American recipes that are
primarily from the south, including from; Sicily, Campania (around Naples),
Apulia, and Calabria, this is a dish of the poor (Cucina Povera), as all the
ingredients, other than the cheese are quite cheap. And for those families who
couldn’t afford cheese, they simply didn’t use it. They might use toasted
breadcrumbs instead, from some leftover bread. Nowadays just about anyone can
afford cheese, so we highly recommend you dressing your pasta with a drizzle of
Olive Oil and some grated Pecorino or Caciocavallo Cheese, it’s oh so tasty.
¼ cup of olive oil and onions in a large 6 quart pot. Cook on low heat for 5
minutes, stirring occasionally.
Celery and cook for 4 minutes. Add red pepper cook and garlic and cook for 2
tomatoes and cook on high heat for 4 minutes. Add Lentils and cook 3 minutes
while stirring with a wooden spoon.
Bay Leaf and water to cover the lentils by 1 inch. Cook at a medium simmer
until lentils are tender but have a bit of firmness to them, about 22 minutes.
the thawed spinach, add to lentils and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.
pasta as per the directions on package. When finished cooking, drain into a
colander, reserving a few tablespoons of water to add to pasta.
the drained pasta back into the pot it cook in and drizzle with some Olive Oil.
Using a large slotted spoon, add lentils to the past and mix. Add a little bit
of the pasta cooking water if you need it. You don’t want the pasta to be
watery, but you do want it to be a little loose. Do this by adding only small
amounts of liquid at a time until you have reached the consistency that you
into shallow past bowls, drizzle with a bit more olive oil and pass the grated
This is a vegetarian dish, but if you like to add meat, you can sauté some
Italian Sausages and add to this recipe.
Add some sausage to each bowl and enjoy.