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Do you remember my Amatriciana? It was the first stop of the trip to the province of Rieti during which I had anticipated the second stop: Pulse pasta with Rascino lentils.

Pulse pasta with Rascino lentils.

But what is so special about Rascino lentils and where are they from?

These small lentils are only grown on the Rascino Plateau in the mountainous Cicolano area (did you know it? Discover Lago del Salto and Lago del Turano: two enchanting corners of Italy where tourism rarely arrives) at an altitude of almost 1200m and without the use of herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilisers. The seed is handed down by the farmers of the ‘Associazione dei produttori Lenticchia di Rascino’ (Rascino Lentil Producers’ Association), which safeguards its qualities and cultivation techniques, and since 2014, the Rascino Lentil has been a  Slow Food Presidium.

The Rieti Chamber of Commerce kit

The recipe we prepared live from every corner of Italy with the products of the kit shipped by the Rieti Chamber of Commerce is a summary of its territory: lentils, lentil pasta, guanciale amatriciano, extra virgin olive oil Sabino PDO and Sabino chilli pepper.

In addition to lentils (which do not need to be soaked), the new ingredient for this appointment is lentil pasta, made from water and flour obtained by stone grinding the small pulse. This pasta is handmade using bronze dies, is then dried at low temperatures, is naturally gluten-free and has a truly amazing texture! And the shapes are incredible, so much so that we prepare the recipe with the shape called rakes which I have never had the pleasure of tasting before.

Il tavolo pronto per cucinare con gli ingredienti ricevuti nel kit

The table ready to cook with the ingredients received in the kit

The only downside to such goodness is that it is not suitable for consumption by celiacs, as the stone mill in which the flour is milled is not dedicated solely to pulses. What better occasion than this article to appeal to the manufacturers to give us this pasta in a totally gluten free version! In fact, for Gaia, I had to replace the pasta with a commercial lentil pasta, no comparison… what a pity!

It always amazes me how a few ingredients, simple and of poor origin, can give rise to such refined dishes: not only for me, but for my whole family, this soup prepared with Rascino lentils and guanciale amatriciano is the best lentil dish we have ever eaten!

Are you ready to prepare it? Remember, however, that for an unforgettable result, you must have the patience to seek out the original ingredients: I did this by buying directly from the producers and in this way I did a good thing for our bellies, our health and our national economy.

Pulse pasta with Rascino lentils

11.21g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients

  • 1.5 l boiling water
  • 200g Rascino lentils
  • 160g lentil pasta*
  • 80g tomato sauce
  • 50g Guanciale amatriciano* (pork cheek)
  • 50g carrots
  • 40g onions
  • 30g celery
  • 20g extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 hot chilli
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Prepare chopped onion, carrot and celery and brown the vegetables in a pan (I chose a crock pot) with the garlic clove, extra virgin olive oil and the diced Guanciale. As soon as the vegetables are sweated, add tomato sauce and chilli pepper, then let everything gain flavour.
  2. Wash the lentils well in a colander, then add them to the sautéed vegetables with the bay leaf and boiling water to cover the lentils. Cook the lentils for 20 minutes, when they are still al dente.
  3. Add hot water to the soup before throwing in the pasta, which you cook for the time indicated on the package so that it absorbs the added water.
La pasta con l'aggiunta di acqua per portare a cottura gli ingredienti

Pasta with water added to cook al the ingredients

  1. Serve the soup hot and with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to enhance the flavour of all the ingredients. Since I love soups, don’t miss my Lentil Soup and my Pumpkin and lentil soup with paprika.

Pasta di legumi con lenticchie di Rascino

Version with gluten of Pulse pasta with Rascino lentils

The recipe contains only naturally gluten free ingredients (note, however, that the pulse pasta must be marked ‘gluten free’ or bear the crossed-out ear of wheat symbol to be suitable for consumption by celiacs), so no adaptation is needed for the version with gluten.