An easy stew for when you don’t have time to hit the market.

London host Paola’s Italian lentil tomato stew is the perfect dish to showcase ingredients you may already have at home in your pantry and fridge. It’s a dish that makes a regular appearance at Paola’s dining table and now she’s sharing her go-to recipe with our community.

This is a dish I regularly cook when I don’t have time to hit the shops but it’s full of goodness. Plus, this style of food is inspired by the recipes from Puglia, Italy where my family is from. This dish is a beautiful example of delicious ‘cucina povera’ – humble cooking.

Host Paola


  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1.5 oz. red wine
  • 1 – 14 oz. can peeled tomatoes
  • 7 oz. vegetable stock
  • 1 – 14 oz. can lentils, drained
  • 3.5 oz. cavolo nero, kale, or spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 large slice of toasted sourdough, in rough chunks.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper


  1. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil into a saucepan. When heated, add the onion and carrots. Fry until the vegetables have softened on low heat.
  2. Add the garlic and fry together for 5 minutes. Pour in the red wine; turn up the heat slightly.
  3. Once the wine has evaporated, add the peeled tomatoes. Soften and mash them with the back of a wooden spoon. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring the stock to a boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Stir in the lentils, cover and cook all together for another 10 minutes.
  5. Drop in the cavolo nero and mix all the ingredients together. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Finally, take the pan off the heat and stir in the rough chunks of the bread.
  7. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Buon appetito!

Italian lentil tomato stew

Learn more about host Paola and her experiences in London here.