IntroductionPuttanesca is one of my favorite Italian sauces. This version turns ordinary dried brown lentils into real comfort food. Puttanesca is one of my favorite Italian sauces. This version turns ordinary dried brown lentils into real comfort food.
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
1 cup pearled farro
1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 t red pepper flakes
2 T tomato paste
1/2 cup dried mushrooms
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
16 black olives, pitted and chopped
2 T capers, chopped
1/2 lemon (optional)
chopped parsley or basil for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
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Use dried lentils in this recipe. If you only have canned, rinse them and skip the soaking steps. You would also omit the 2 cups of water if you use canned lentils.
Farro, also called emmer wheat, is a whole grain that resembles in appearance and taste a cross between barley and wheatberries. It is available in the whole grains aisle, and I buy it in bulk at Costco. No farro? Sub barley, wheat berries or save time and serve this over whole-wheat pasta.
If you're watching your sodium levels, you can cut down on the capers and olives, but that's what gives this dish its unique flavor.
Place the lentils in heat-proof bowl. Pour boiling water over them, covering by one inch. Place a dinner plate over the bowl to cover and set aside. (You can do this in the morning to save time.)
Heat the oil over medium-high in a large sautepan. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for five minutes, stirring often. Add the tomato paste and stir well to combine. Cook for two minutes, until tomato paste is fragrant and has darkened in color.
Drain and rinse the lentils, then add them to the pan, along with the mushrooms. Cook for one minute, stirring often. Add the tomatoes, plus two cups of water.
Lower heat to medium, cover the pan, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes. Add additional water if needed.
While the lentils are simmering, prepare the farro according to package directions.
Once the lentils are tender, remove from heat, season with black pepper and stir in the olives and capers, then squeeze in the lemon juice.
Serve immediately, over the cooked farro, and garnish with chopped fresh parsley or basil.
Serving Size: Makes four servings; 3/4 cup of cooked farro and 1 cup of lentils per serving
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Member Ratings For This Recipe
I totally enjoyed this, my suggestion would be to use a very large skillet with high sides. I used my average large skillet and it was tight to say the least. It also took longer than 20 minutes to cook. Well worth it - had it Friday night and just ate some for lunch today - reheats nicely. - 3/19/12
The first time I made this, I subbed barley for the farro. It tasted fine, but the texture was weird and slimy. Second time, I used brown rice, and that version was delicious and not slimy at all. I'll definitely make it again that way. (Also, it makes amazing dip for tortilla chips.) - 4/22/12
I had it with millet and it was absolutely wonderful and very filling - i could barely finish the whole serving! I may have doubled or even tripled the mushrooms though... knowing myself, i didn't bother to measure, just dumped the whole pack in... you can never have too many mushrooms! - 4/2/12