Easy Pasta With Lentils

This easy pasta with lentils (pasta e lenticchie) is a simple one-pot recipe thatโ€™s bursting with flavour. Make it vegetarian or vegan for a delicious and healthy recipe thatโ€™s also budget-friendly.

Italian pasta with lentils (or pasta e lenticchie in Italian) is the perfect choice for a simple weeknight meal when you want the goodness of pulses and pasta all in one pot.

Ingredients for pasta con lenticchie
I like to add lots of herbs to this lentil pasta recipe, including fresh rosemary, fresh thyme and fresh parsley. The herbs make this lentil soup with pasta extra flavourful, but you can substitute them with dried herbs if you donโ€™t have fresh ones handy.

You can use green or brown lentils for this pasta with lentils. Red lentils are not a good choice because their texture is not right for this recipe.

I make this lentil soup with ditalini pasta, but you can use any other kind of small pasta. If you donโ€™t have any small pasta handy, you can break up some penne or even spaghetti for this recipe.

Make it vegan or vegetarian
What I love most about this recipe is that it only takes one change to the ingredient list to make it vegan. Pasta con lenticchie is basically a vegan recipe that you can choose to add Parmesan to if you want.

Make sure the Parmesan you opt for is vegetarian; you might need to opt for another type of hard Italian cheese instead. Parmigiano Reggiano is not vegetarian because itโ€™s made with animal rennet. If youโ€™re not a vegetarian, regular Parmesan will work just fine.

How do you make pasta with lentils?
Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook for 3-4 minutes until they soften a bit. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.

Next, stir in the passata, then add the red chilli flakes, rosemary, and thyme. Cook for 30 seconds, then add the lentils and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer with a lid on for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

Add the pasta and cook for another 10-12 minutes until itโ€™s al dente. Stir occasionally to avoid the pasta sticking to the bottom of the pot. You may have to add some extra stock or water at this point, as the pasta will absorb a lot of the liquid.

Add the grated Parmesan (if using) and the parsley, and season to taste. Serve on its own or with some crusty bread.

Recipe notes & tips
Make this recipe vegan by skipping the Parmesan or using some nutritional yeast / vegan Parmesan instead.
If youโ€™re not a vegetarian/vegan, you can add 100 g pancetta with the onion.
The pasta will absorb a lot of liquid, so youโ€™ll have to add some extra stock or hot water. I prefer to use water instead of stock at this point because adding more stock comes with the risk of making the soup too salty.
I think this lentil soup with pasta is a meal on its own, but you can serve it with some crusty bread if you want.
You donโ€™t have to soak green or brown lentils before cooking them. Theyโ€™ll be perfectly cooked in under 30 minutes without soaking.
You can store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two days. The pasta will continue to absorb liquid, so you may need to add a bit of water before reheating.
If you liked this easy pasta with lentils (pasta e lenticchie), have a look at some of my other veggie soups:

Ingredients

2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
2-3 celery stalks, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
100 ml (3.5 fl oz) passata
ยผ teaspoon red chilli flakes
2 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
200 g (7 oz) green or brown lentils
1 litre (4 cups) vegetable stock
200 g (7 oz) ditalini pasta
30 g (1 ounce) grated Parmesan (optional)
2 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook for 3-4 minutes until they soften a bit. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.

Next, stir in the passata, then add the red chilli flakes, rosemary, and thyme. Cook for 30 seconds, then add the lentils and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer with a lid on for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

Add the pasta and cook for another 10-12 minutes until itโ€™s al dente. Stir occasionally to avoid the pasta sticking to the bottom of the pot. You may have to add some extra stock or water at this point as the pasta will absorb a lot of the liquid.

Add the grated Parmesan (if using) and the parsley, and season to taste. Serve on its own or with some crusty bread.

Enjoy !!!

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