Santo Stefano di Sessanio are small and purplish-brown.
They are mountain lentil as they grow on the slopes of Gran Sasso (center of Italy) in the uncontaminated area of the Abruzzo National Park.
Ontano lentil is small, full of flavour, with very thin skin and a smooth creamy dough: it is known as the "lentil of the Popes", it has a dark marbled colour.
Altamura lentil is flat, sweet and giant.
Ustica lentils are the smallest of Italy and are sown in January and collected in June, when the whole little plants are left to dry before they are picked up and beated to extract the lentils following the ancient country tradition.
Sicily has a very warm weather and Ustica Island even more, so lentils can be sown in winter!
SLOW FOOD takes particularly care about Santo Stefano di Sessanio and Onano lentils as a very special and ancient food of ours.
Like all legumes they are rich in vegetable protein, thus they can be consumed instead of meat and fish , and they are also rich in fiber, folic acid , iron.
They also are useful to keep cholesterol down .
In addition they do not contain gluten, so we can consider them an excellent ingredient in coeliacs' diet: it can be used in sostitution of the traditional white flour, but of course in percentage not bigger than 30% in baking bread.
Digestible when cooked , they are helpful against fatigue and anemia.
HOW TO COOK LENTILS?
The best thing is to cook with the same procedure you use when fixing a risotto.
La Masca in Cucina wishes you a healthy lunch with lentils!