Recipe Source: Scappi, Bartolomeo. The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi, Terrence Scully, trans. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 2008 p. 478
This is yet another dish that I made in preparation for a class on Italian Renaissance cookbooks this past weekend. The class went much better than I could have possibly hoped for, since I'm really not much of a public speaker (and that is an understatement.) I have some good friends to thank for that. Anyway, this dish was especially interesting to me because I'm not used to thinking of pies, even savory pies, as containing lentils. Since I have an army of willing guinea pigs every Sunday, this seemed like as good an opportunity as any to try it out. I also wanted to make it because my husband is laboring under the impression that the legume cabinet is actually a barbeque cabinet, and he would very much like for me to clear out some of the offending legumes.
Anyway, I wasn't a huge fan of this dish. This is because Mr. Scappi, or the prelates he was working for, has what I consider to be an inordinate fondness for sugar. I don't care much for sweet dishes, especially when they're not supposed to be desserts. I wouldn't have served it at all if it weren't for the fact that several of my guests (as well as my husband) really liked this dish. I guess it's just me who didn't care for it! The only changes I made to this recipe were to use Lemony Vegetable Broth instead of chicken broth the first time I served it, because that's what I had on hand. I also substituted pecorino for Parmesan, mostly for economic reasons. For the "tourte shell" I used my family's Super Secret Pie Crust recipe, the provenance of which is unknown (hence the Super Secret - I can't cite the actual source properly). You can use whatever double-crust pie recipe works for you.
I'm sending this dish over to Jugalbandi as my entry for the Monthly Mingle blogging event. Monthly Mingle was founded by What's For Lunch, Honey. This month's theme is "Heirloom." What's so "heirloom" about a lentil pie? Well, the recipe was first published in 1570. That's pretty heirloom to me, since it predates the town I live in by about 70 years! Thanks to Jugalbandi for hosting!
Lentil Pie (serves 10; approx. $1.05/serving)
2 cups Lemony Vegetable Broth or chicken broth
2 cups red lentils
1 double pie crust recipe
6 ounces grated pecorino cheese
6 ounces ricotta cheese
6 ounces milk
12 ounces sugar
1/2 ounce black pepper
3 ounces butter
- Pie plate
- Mixing bowl
- Preheat your oven to 425.
- Combine your lentils and your broth in the saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil until the lentils are tender.
- Line the bottom of the pie plate with one of the crusts.
- Combine the remaining ingredients in the mixing bowl. Add the lentils and mix well.
- Pour the filling into the prepared crust. You will probably have some left over - I think Scappi must have been using differently sized pie plates from the ones we consider standard now.
- Cover with the remaining crust, vent and seal.
- Bake 30 - 40 minutes or until the crust is thoroughly cooked.
- Serve warm or cold. My husband is particularly fond of this dish as a breakfast dish, straight from the fridge.