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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Zuppa di Lentils & Pastina

I may have posted this previously and if I have, this recipe is worth re-posting.  I made this a couple of nights ago and it is one of our favorite recipes.  I usually make this recipe vegetarian without the pancetta.  But on this particular night, I added 2 slices of chopped bacon and it added a nice, smoky flavor.  Here goes:

1/2 cup pastina
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped (1 cup)
3 ounces pancetta, chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (can be substituted with 1 teaspoon dried rosemary)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 quarts water
1 bag (16 ounce) dried lentils, rinsed
2 medium carrots, chopped or sliced
1 cup chopped (or sliced) celery
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped parsley

Heat oil in 8-quart stock pot over medium-high heat.  Add onion, pancetta, rosemary, and garlic; saute for 2 minutes.
Add water and lentils.  Bring to a boil; cover.  Cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Place 1/4 cup of lentil mixture in a blender or food processor; puree.  Add mixture back to pot and return to a boil.  Add carrots, celery, pastina, salt, and pepper.  Cover; cook an additional 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve sprinkled with fresh parsley.  Makes 8 servings.

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