Lentils with Olive Oil

Lenticchie all’ Olio

This very simple dish was actually served to us as a side dish in a small roadside trattoria in the Abruzzi. Lentils are used a great deal in the cooking of this region. The local lentils are tiny and dark brown, full of flavour. This dish is served throughout southern Italy and can also be prepared with other pulses.


  • 11 oz (300 g) brown lentils, soaked overnight in cold water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ red chilli pepper, de-seeded and very finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


Drain the lentils, wash carefully and cover with fresh water. Simmer, covered, for about 1-2 hours or until the lentils are completely soft. Mix the salt, oil, chilli, garlic and parsley together. Spoon the hot cooked lentils into 6 soup plates, then cover with the oil mixture and serve at once.