Lenticchie Passate

Lentil Purée

Preparation info

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

Honey from a Weed

By Patience Gray

Published 1986

  • About

The lentil, Lens esculenta, belonging to the pea family, is one of the earliest forms of cultivated food, found in neolithic dwellings in Sesklo and Dimini in Thessaly and dated to 8000 years ago (see Hourmouziades in the Bibliography).

This is a recipe of Pellegrino Artusi, an example of classic Tuscan cooking.

Method

Cook ½ kg (1 lb 2 oz) of brown lentils, unsoaked, in slightly salted water with a knob of fresh butter, until they are tender but not broken (in earthenware, if possible). Then pass them through a sieve.

Chop finely a small onion, some parsley, sedano (celery grown as a herb) and a carrot. Put this battuto in a pan with 50 g (2 oz) of butter, brown the aromatics, then add a ladleful of stock, or liquor from cooking a cotechino, skimmed of its surface fat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Use this to flavour the lentil purée, which should remain stiff. I sometimes add the juice of half a lemon.

One of the best things to serve with the above-mentioned cotechino, but also with a zampone, a pigeon, pheasant or partridge.