Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Lentils with Pancetta

[Photographs: Caroline Russock]

The Lentils with Pancetta have been one of my favorite vegetable antipasti at Molto Gusto by Mario Batali and Mark Ladner I had assumed that it was either red wine vinegar or lemon juice but once I took at look at the recipe I realized that the secret ingredient was in fact Dijon mustard.

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Figuring out the secret ingredient and getting your hands on some pancetta and small lentils is the key to this wonderful antipasto. The whole chunk of pancetta lends its wonderful flavor to the lentils and all of the bite of the spicy Dijon mustard is absorbed during the cooking process. Once the lentils are cooked through but not overdone (think of it as al dente) the vegetables are taken out and the pancetta is roughly chopped and added back into the lentils along with olive oil, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

Tempted as you might be to eat these lentils hot, the dish really benefits from an hour or two of resting which allows all of the flavors to really come together.

Win Molto Gusto

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Molto Gusto to give away this week.

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