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Lentils with pancetta lenticchie con pancetta


One of the most renowned Italian-American chefs has to be, by far, Chef Mario Batali.  From tv shows to cookbooks, Chef Batali has become an American icon when it comes to simple Italian cooking.  The stout, crocs wearing chef consistently puts out delicious recipe after delicious recipe.  Here is a simple, yet incredibly tasty recipe from his new book MOLTO GUSTO, which translates to “A Lot of Flavor“.  Try it, and I’m sure you’ll agree that Lentils have never tasted so good! :)


Book:  Molto Gusto

Serves 6


½ pound small lentils, preferably Castellucio

1 carrot, halved

1 onion, halved

1 celery rib, halved

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 ounces pancetta, in one piece

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Maldon or other flaky sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper

  • Put the lentils in a medium pot, add water to cover by 2 inches, and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the vegetables, mustard, and pancetta, reduce the heat, and simmer gently until the lentils are just tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Drain, reserving ¼ of the cooking liquid, and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Remove the vegetables and pancetta from the lentils; discard the vegetables.
  • Coarsely chop the pancetta and add to the lentils. Add just enough of the reserved cooking liquid to moisten the lentils, then add the oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve, or let stand at room temperature for 1 hour to bring out the flavors. (The lentils can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature before serving.)

Buon Appetito!

Click HERE if you’d like to purchase your own copy of Molto Gusto, by Mario Batali

Giada’s Roman Style Chicken

Giada's Roman Style Chicken (pollo a la Romana)

The Colosseum, the Pantheon, Trevi fountain, the Spanish steps, are synonymous with Italy, and in particular Rome.  Roma (in Italian) is in the region of Lazio, on the Western coast in central Italy, and it renowned for its history, culture, architecture and most of all, it’s food!  Roman food has its own distinct quality with garlic, parsley, rosemary and black pepper prevalent in many of their dishes.

This recipe by Giada De Laurentiis, one of the great television cooks on food tv, is a great tribute to Roman style cooking.  In Giada’s new book Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes she makes tried and true Italian recipes and makes them so simple to make, you’ll LOVE cooking Italian!!  Her Roman Style Chicken is an example of the ease of her dishes.
A great chicken with classical taste. A true winner!!


  • 4 skinless chicken breast halves, with ribs
  • 2 skinless chicken thighs, with bones
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 3 ounces prosciutto, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves


Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a heavy, large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, cook the chicken until browned on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Keeping the same pan over medium heat, add the peppers and prosciutto and cook until the peppers have browned and the prosciutto is crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, wine, and herbs. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan, add the stock, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 to 30 minutes.

If serving immediately, add the capers and the parsley. Stir to combine and serve. If making ahead of time, transfer the chicken and sauce to a storage container, cool, and refrigerate. The next day, reheat the chicken to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in the capers and the parsley and serve.

Buon Appetito!