Vegetables, lentils, and pasta simmer in a broth. The soup is infused with the earthy flavors of bacon and rosemary. We use tubetti, but any small macaroni shape will work as well.
1/4 pound bacon, slices cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
2 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 onions, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 pound lentils (about 2 1/3 cups)
1 1/2 quarts canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
3 cups water
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup canned tomatoes in thick puree, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 cup tubetti or other small macaroni
How to Make It
In a large pot, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Remove. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. Add the carrots, onions, celery, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the lentils, broth, water, rosemary, tomatoes, salt, red-pepper flakes, black pepper, and bacon. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the pasta and simmer until the lentils are tender and the pasta is done, 10 to 15 minutes longer.
Variations: · Substitute an equal amount of pancetta for the bacon.: · Use thyme instead of rosemary.: · Add shredded spinach or escarole leaves during the last few minutes of cooking.
Wine Recommendation: The nebbiolo grape produces wine with complex notes including smoke, truffle, and dried red cherry. A light-bodied version, such as one from Valtellina, is an excellent match.