Lovingly known as pasta e lenticchie (pasta and lentils) in Campania, a region in southern Italy, this is a dish that combines humble ingredient like brown lentils, canned tomatoes, and pasta of any shape or size, and creates something that somehow feels cozy and familiar with your first bite.


  • ½ pound whole-wheat pasta, uncooked
  • 5 cups water
  • ¾ cup uncooked brown lentils
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup canned plum tomatoes, diced and some liquid reserved
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, minced


  • In a medium saucepan, bring 5 cups of water to a boil, then add the lentils. Cook the lentils, covered, over medium-high heat until they’re nearly but not entirely tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a separate pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente.
  • When the lentils are nearly cooked and have absorbed all the water, add the garlic, olive oil, tomatoes, salt, and red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and continue to simmer briskly for another 10 minutes or until the lentils are fully tender. Add the cooked pasta and parsley to the lentils and stir everything to combine.
  • Add additional red pepper flakes (optional) and serve.

Ready in about 35-45 minutes
Makes 4 servings

About the Author

Jonathan Ewald

“If man thinks about his physical or moral state he usually discovers that he is ill.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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