Mar 03, 2013

Italian Lentils

In honor of my mom (a.k.a. Nonna) visiting me for my birthday I thought I would make her traditional lentil dish that I grew up on… with some minor modifications. Hers was a hearty lentil soup with very few ingredients, as is mine. The only variation is that I omitted the olive oil and substituted gluten-free pasta for the regular ditalini she used. Oh, and also no salt!

We all need some sodium in our diets as it maintains the body’s fluid balance, transmits nerve impulses and plays a part in the contraction and relaxation of muscles. However, too much sodium in your diet can have a negative effect. Sodium attracts and holds water, leading to increased blood volume, which makes your heart work harder to move blood through your body. This increases pressure in your arteries.

I realize that many of you who read my blog may not be used to low sodium dishes. Obviously, you can salt your dish to the taste you prefer. But when you stop adding salt to your meals, your taste buds will transition to the change and you will be able to taste the naturally occurring sodium (and other subtle flavors) in your foods that have been masked by added sodium. I have used Bragg’s Liquid Aminos in the past but then found raw Coconut Aminos which contains 113 mg sodium per tablespoon as opposed to 960mg in a tablespoon of Bragg’s! It’s made from the sap of coconut blossoms instead of soy. It’s pretty tasty, too, and adds a hint of sweetness.


  • 1 pound brown lentils
  • 8 cups water
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small can salt-free tomato sauce
  • 3 TBS Coconut Aminos
  • 1/2 pound pasta of your choice (I used quinoa/corn shells)
  • handful fresh basil
  1. Cook lentils, garlic and water until lentils are soft (about 30-40 minutes).
  2. While the lentils are cooking, cook the pasta. Drain and set aside.
  3. Add tomato sauce, basil and aminos or salt, if using.
  4. Add pasta and simmer for a few more minutes.
  5. Serve!
Makes about 10 cups. Enjoy!
Love you, Mama!
Woke up to 4 inches of white fluffiness… the snow I’ve been waiting for all winter.
And this handsome guy, sitting outside my window, waiting to say Happy Birthday to me!
per la salute!

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