Lesser Piggy Lentils

This used to be a favourite emergency mid week supper at my last shared house.

  • pancetta – about 100g – one of those little packets you get in the supermarket and which I always have lurking at the back of the freezer
  • a small onion
  • 150g lentils (I’m using Puy lentils, ‘cos that’s what happens to be in the cupboard)
  • one 450g tin of chopped tomatoes

You will need to:

  1. put the lentils in a small pan of water; enough to cover them, and then about another inch or two
  2. add salt and a bay leaf (you could add a teaspoon of Marigold Boullion, but since I’m using Puy lentils, they’re powerful enough on their own), bring to the boil, and then simmer until they’re tender; around twenty minutes
  3. meanwhile, put the pancetta in another saucepan (two pot shocker!)

    and gently fry until dark and crunchy, and all the fat has run off – my pancetta was very watery so had to simmer a bit until all the water had evaporated before it started to fry properly
  4. slice up the onion and add that to the pancetta, and fry until soft
  5. I’ve pushed the onion and pancetta to one side and fried a clove of garlic as well
  6. about this point, the lentils should be done, so drain them, and then put them in with everything else – that layer of tasty tasty pig fat on the bottom of the saucepan will be absorbed by the lentils
  7. finally, add the tomatoes – if you don’t like the dish too fruity, then drain them first, and add the juice gradually until it tastes about right
  8. cover and simmer for a few minutes to let the flavours mingle – pepper to taste

A good mid week main, or quite an impressive side dish for sausages.


You might consider:

  • adding some chilli at the same time as the onions
  • some curry powder
  • adding a splash of white wine at some point (possibly into a glass and down your throat whilst cooking)

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