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Pasta and lentils with crispy bacon and zucchini

Rowena Dumlao-Giardina resides in Italy, cooking and photographing her family's interesting meals on Apron and Sneakers. After moving to Italy in 1999 from the Philippines, she has traveled extensively around the country and the rest of ...

Add a bit of crunch to an Italian classic

Pasta and lentils go together on Italian tables. Everyone loves them! Add the crunch of crispy bacon and sauteed zucchini to make the flavors soar to goodness!

Add a bit of crunch to an Italian classic

We all love bacon. Who doesn't? And we'd like to put it in everything, too. Here is a very healthy dish that you can enjoy with the addition of bacon. Not all healthy dishes have to be boring!

Pasta and lentils with crispy bacon and zucchini recipe

Serves 4


  • Extra-virgin olive oil (also olive oil)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, diced or 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 6 ounces lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (reserve more if needed)
  • 3 ounces bacon (also pancetta or guanciale), chopped
  • 2 big zucchini, cut into round slices
  • 7 ounces pasta (fregula or other kinds of small pasta)


  1. Over medium heat in a saucepan with extra-virgin olive oil, saute the onion for a minute. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes, then add the carrots.
  2. Add the lentils and the vegetable broth.
  3. Over low-medium heat, cook for 20 minutes or until they become tender. Add more vegetable broth if needed.
  4. Halfway through cooking the lentils, add the pasta. Check the number of minutes indicated for cooking them. If the pasta cooks for just 3 minutes, add them at the latter part of cooking the lentils.
  5. In another saucepan over medium heat, toast the bacon. When it becomes crunchy, set it aside.
  6. Discard excess oil in the saucepan. Add some clean oil.
  7. Brown the zucchini. When they are cooked through, set them aside.
  8. When the lentils are cooked, add the zucchini and bacon. Leave some for garnish.

More lentil recipes

Gluten-free Friday: Lentil salad with mustard vinaigrette recipe
Slow cooker yellow lentil dahl recipe

Curried lentil salad recipe

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