Castelluccio lentils

Cook it with:
Makes: 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 2h


  • 1 and ½ cups dry Castelluccio lentils
  • 2 tablespoons Filippo Berio Umbro Gran Cru Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 4 carrots, finely diced
  • ¼ pound guanciale or pancetta (pork cured jowl), diced
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 sage leaves, minced
  • 1 tbs fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 7 cups chicken broth or water, plus extra as needed
  • 3 tablespoons canned San Marzano Tomatoes, pureed
  • sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • toasted bread


Rinse the lentils, strain them and set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a 2-quart pot and add the onion, celery, carrots, guanciale or pancetta, chili, garlic, sage, and thyme. Cook 10 minutes over low heat, covered, or until the onion is soft and golden, stirring frequently.

Increase the heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add lentils and bay leaf, and cook over medium high heat for 2 minutes, stirring gently. Add the broth or water (it should cover the lentils by 1 inch), tomatoes, and the salt. Bring to a boil, stir and cover.

Cook over medium-low heat for 1 hour or until the lentils are soft, adding a little more broth or water if needed. The consistency should be thick, not soupy. Season with more salt to taste.

Cook's Tip:

Serve hot drizzled with Filippo Berio Umbro Gran Cru Extra Virgin Olive Oil, sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper and garnished with toasted bread. This recipe calls for a local tiny lentil from the Umbrian town of Castelluccio. These lentils are prized across Italy for their earthy and sweet taste and their ability to maintain their shape even after long cooking.

Wine tip:

Serve hot drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper and garnished with toasted bread. This dish is distinguished by an excellent combination of acidity from the tomatoes, and the richness and succulence of bacon. Consequently, it should be paired with a wine that does not have a high alcohol content but is well structured, like an Orvietano Rosso DOC from Umbria or a Lagrein from Alto Adige.


the entire site