Sicilian Lentil and Mushroom Rigatoni

Similar to a bolognese this hearty Sicilian lentil pasta is flavorful with mushrooms and pancetta.

Sicilian Lentil and Mushroom Rigatoni

Sicilian lentil pasta is a light and easy dish that is like a lentil bolognese with a nice bite from mushrooms and a lot of flavor from pancetta. The lentils give the dish body, with sweetness from carrots and a nice hearty pasta bite from the rigatoni.

Lentils and rigatoni are a traditional Italian pairing. My husband is Sicilian and this is his favorite pasta dish that I make for him.

Sicilian Lentil and Mushroom Rigatoni

Sicilians eat lentils as a symbol of good luck and prosperity – so eat up your lentils, they’re good luck and good for you!

Sicilian Lentil and Mushroom Rigatoni
Similar to a bolognese this hearty Sicilian lentil pasta is flavorful with mushrooms and pancetta.
Recipe Type: Primi, Pasta
Cuisine: Sicilian, Italian
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 cup dry brown lentils, rinsed
  • Salt
  • ½ medium onion
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 2 ounces cremini mushrooms, finely chopped * see note
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped * see note
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped * see note
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped * see note
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces rigatoni pasta
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Add a good handful of salt (the water should taste like ocean water, not too salty)
  3. Add the lentils, ½ onion and celery
  4. Bring back to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes
  5. While they cook add the olive oil to a large sauté pan over medium heat
  6. Add the pancetta, mushrooms, onion, celery and carrots
  7. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 6 minutes.
  8. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring so the garlic doesn't burn
  9. Add the tomato paste and stir until well mixed
  10. Drain the lentils and add to the vegetables along with 1 cup of the liquid.
  11. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  12. Remove the lid and cook for 3 more minutes until the sauce thickens.
  13. Add pepper and taste, adjust seasoning as needed
  14. Bring the lentil water back to a simmer and add the pasta, cook according to package directions
  15. When the pasta is done, drain and add to the lentil sauce and mix well
  16. Serve in bowls and top with parmesan and parsley
* Make sure all these vegetables are cut the same size


Janette Fuschi

Hi, my name is Janette, originally from England, currently living in Southern California. I'm the author, recipe developer, photographer and resident redhead behind Culinary Ginger. I grew up in a household with 4 siblings where my mother cooked a from scratch meal for us every night. I took an interest at an early age in cooking and learned a lot by helping and watching my mother in the kitchen. Today that tradition is carried on my household in that I also like to cook every night. I like to use only fresh ingredients, no processed or pre-packaged foods are allowed in my kitchen. I like to try new recipes and adapt current ones from all cuisines. In addition to all of this, I am fortunate that I get to travel with my husband for business and this allows me to explore and document my findings here for you to read and hopefully, take something with you.

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  1. Where is the note on the finely chopped creminis, onion, celery, and carrots? Maybe I’m missing it but I don’t see one.

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