Sicilian Lentil Caponata Ragu –

Sicilian Lentil Caponata Ragu

  By lentilsorg  , ,   

November 29, 2018

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  • Prep: 10 Minutes
  • Cook: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
  • 10 Minutes

    1 Hour 10 Minutes

    1 Hour 20 Minutes

  • Yields: 24


  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium to high heat and add the ground beef and brown. Remove beef and set aside, retaining the oil and cooking liquid in the pan.
  2. Add eggplant and oregano to the beef fat and season with salt. Toss in the pan to evenly coat in oil and cook to golden brown, approximately 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add onion, garlic, and parsley stalks and continue to cook for another 2 minutes to sweat and soften the onion and garlic.
  4. Add olives, tomatoes, stock, red pepper flakes, reserved ground beef, and lentils. Bring to a boil over medium heat and season with vinegar.
  5. Reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for an hour or until the sauce is reduced to a desired consistency and the lentils are tender.
  6. At approximately 10 minutes prior to the ragu being finished, cook pasta in salted water and drain when al dente. Reserve 1 cup (250 mL) of cooking liquid to add to ragu to adjust consistency and loosen if required.
  7. Serve ragu over cooked pasta in 12 equal portions and garnish with parsley leaves.

Optional additional garnishes include freshly grated pecorino cheese and crunchy oven roasted lentils*.

*To oven roast lentils:
Split Red Lentils – Pre-soak for 1 hour, then oven roast for 15-20 minutes at 400°F (200°C).
Whole Red Lentils – Pre-soak for 12 hours, then oven roast for 30 minutes at 400°F (200°C).
Whole Green Lentils – Pre-soak for 12 hours, then oven roast for 30 minutes at 400°F (200°C).


½ cup (125 mL) canola oil

2 lbs (1 kg) ground beef

4 lb (2 kg) large eggplant, large dice

4 tsp (20 mL) dried oregano

2 tsp (10 mL) salt

2 cups (500 mL) red onion, minced

2 tsp (10 mL) garlic cloves, minced

1 cup (250 mL) flat leaf parsley, leaves and stalks minced separately

2 cups (500 mL) large green olives, pitted and halved

42 oz (1.25 L) whole peeled Roma tomatoes, canned

3 cups (750 mL) low-sodium vegetable or beef stock

2 tsp (10 mL) red pepper flakes

1 cup (250 mL) whole red lentils, dry

½ cup (125 mL) red wine vinegar

2 lb (1 kg) dried pasta


Nutrition Facts

Serving Size1 cup (250 mL)
Sodium405 mg
Potassium593 mg
Protein15 g
Cholesterol28 mg
Sugar6 g
Total Fat14.5 g
Saturated Fat3.5 g
Total Carbohydrates43 g
Dietary Fiber6 g