Lagniappe: Lenticchie al Mauro

Dec 30th, 2013 | By | Category: Blog

Mauro is a grizzled farmer we met years ago in the Umbrian hill town of Castelluccio, home of Italy’s best lentils. He admonished us as we were about to sprinkle Parmigiano over a simple bowl of lenticchie: “Solo aglio, olio, sedano, sale, e aqua. Non formaggio.” (Only garlic, oil, celery, salt, and water. No cheese.)

Mauro with a bag of Castelluccio's finest

It’s hard to find lentils from Castelluccio, but you can order Umbrian lentils from Gustiamo. The small green lentils, often called du Puy or baby French, are easier to find. I think Mauro would approve, if grudgingly.

Sauté a couple of minced garlic cloves and a diced stalk of celery in plenty of extra virgin olive oil over medium-low heat for a couple of minutes, being careful not to let the garlic brown. Add a cup or so of lentils, about twice as much water, and a good pinch of sea salt. Bring to gentle boil, reduce heat, and simmer 15-20 minutes or until lentils are tender (add more water if necessary). Adjust salt and drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil.

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