1/4 lb Meridian Double Smoked 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
- In a large pot, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Remove. Leave the fat (aprox 2 tbsp) in the pot. . 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.
• Use thyme instead of rosemary.
• Add shredded spinach leaves during the last few minutes of cooking.