Bucatini with Lentils and Pancetta

Bucatini with Lentils and Pancetta 6

A couple of years ago I went to a cooking class where we made lentils. I had never eaten lentils before As usual, I was leery about them. I was sure I would not like them. But I tried them. (Win for me) And I liked them. Like, a lot. I liked them much more than I ever would have expected. I liked them so much that I went home and made them again. And you know what? They were terrible. Really, really terrible. I don’t know what went wrong. But I definitely threw that pot of lentils away. I added garlic, celery, onion, and carrot and they tasted like nothing. Really, really bland. And that was it for me and lentils. It was two years before lentils were attempted again in my house.


Kelly made this soup last month, which was fabulous. And my love of lentils was renewed. I saw this recipe for bucatini with lentils in my food network magazine. I immediately sent Kelly a picture, to which she replied, yes, totally into that. We made it this weekend and it did not dissapoint. It was 10 times better than I could have dreamed. I kept saying over and over again: this is really good. I was really surprised how much I liked it. We did add pancetta to this but if you left the pancetta out this would be a great vegetarian option. It is really hearty and perfect for fall and winter. We will, without a doubt, be making this again.

Here is what you’ll need

Brown the pancetta and add the onions and garlic

Add the tomatoes, sauce, and red pepper flakes

Add the cooked lentils

Toss with pasta

Bucatini with Lentils and Pancetta 6

One of my favorite pasta we have EVER made!


Bucatini with Lentils and Pancetta 6

Bucatini with Lentils and Pancetta

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course


  • 1 cup dried lentils or canned see note
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 oz cubed pancetta
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28 oz can of crushed tomoatoes
  • 1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb bucatini
  • basil for garnish
  • grated parmesan cheese for garnish


  • If you are using dried lentils rinse them and combine the lentils with 2 cups water in a medium pot over medium heat.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Cook until tender, about 30 minutes.
  • Heat the oil over medium heat.
  • Add the pancetta and brown.
  • Add the onion and garlic.
  • Cook until the onion is translucent.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and red pepper flakes.
  • Simmer over low heat.
  • Cook the bucatini according to the package instructions.
  • Just before the bucatini is done add the lentils to the sauce.
  • Do not add any water left in the pot.
  • Turn the heat off and add the pasta.
  • Stir to coat.
  • Garnish with parmesan cheese and chopped basil.


You can use canned lentils but I could not find any.
If you have canned lentils, rinse them but you do not need to cook them.
Add them to the sauce at the same step indicated above.
Keyword Bucatini, Pancetta