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Lentil Vellutata in Red Wine-Crispy Broccoli

Lentils are legumes rich in nutrients, which are typically enjoyed as a side dish or a main soup entrée. Lentil Vellutata is cooked in sautéed vegetables, flavored with aromatic bay leaves, coriander seeds, and a rich red wine reduction. In Italy, when lentils are prepared in larger quantity, it symbolizes good fortune and abundance coming throughout the year, especially if they are cooked for New Year’s Eve. Chef Alba
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Course Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean, vegetarian
Servings 4 people


  • 8 ounces small lentils rinsed
  • 10 ounces fresh broccoli florets boiled to al dente, reserve water
  • 3 tbsps Secolari Rosemary Olive Oil or an extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 cup dry red wine divided
  • 1 medium onion minced
  • 1 celery stalk with leaves minced
  • 1 medium carrot minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 to taste Secolari Roasted Garlic Sea Salt
  • 1 to taste coarse black pepper
  • 3-4 cups Broccolli water reserved from boiling florets
  • 1 to taste ground coriander
  • 2-3 tbsps Secolari Dark Raspberry Balsamic or dark cherry balsamic, to drizzle


  • Steam or boil the broccoli florets for 2-3 minutes. Strain reserving all of the broccoli water and set aside. Be sure the florets are dried before cooking in skillet
  • In a skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and coriander seeds on low heat; stir until just fragrant. Add the broccoli florets; cook on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of wine and cook to reduce by half.
  • In a large pan, on medium-low heat, add the 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook 8-10 minutes or until soft. Add the lentils; cook 10 minutes. Add ½ cup wine and reduce slightly. Add the bay leaves, tomato sauce, and some of the broccoli water; Cover and cook 10-15 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Remove the bay leaves and season with salt, and pepper as needed.
  • Serve the soup in bowls with a tablespoon of hot broccoli in the center, a thread of olive oil, and a sprinkle of ground coriander. Lastly, add a generous drizzle of balsamic on each bowl.
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