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Villalba lentils, an ancient large-seeded variety from Sicily, a Slow Food Sicily Presidium since 2012, very rich in iron and protein. Use for refreshing and protein-packed soups, vegetable ragouts, original humus or delicious pasta and legume dishes.

Large, green, mottle-free seed lentil that does not fall apart during cooking. Very rich in fiber and protein, they are cholesterol-free and have a very low fat content. Typical of the Caltanissetta area, the first written record of this cultivation in the Villalba area is reported in 1900, but the cultivation of Villalba lentil was already historically present in the area. It belongs, like that of Altamura, to the large-seeded type, typical of temperate areas. The period of maximum production in Villalba occurred between the 1930s and the 1960s, when about 30 percent of Italian production came from Sicily and in particular from this very town in the province of Caltanissetta. With the spread of industrial crops, its production was handed down by a few local producers who still work daily to preserve this species.


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It is recommended not to salt the cooking water, but to add salt at the end to prevent hardening of the cuticle. They do not require soaking and their cooking time is about 1 hour.

Legumes in Sicily tell a very ancient story made up of men and work as well as meals traditionally referred to as "poor" but actually very rich in nutrients and vegetable proteins. These crops have always been used in the rotation patterns adopted by farmers. On the trail of Sicily's legumes is an itinerary that from the province of Ragusa crosses the whole island, reaching the territories of Trapani and passing through Ustica. In the town of Villalba in rotation with durum wheat, they are the centerpiece of the local economy; today the Villalba lentil is a Slow Food Presidium. For two centuries in the family gardens of Polizzi Generosa, between 700 and 900 meters above sea level, within the Madonie Park, a two-colored bean of small to medium size and round shape has been grown, hence its dialect name "badda," meaning ball. It is a mottled bean, with a sharp subdivision between two distinct colorations that, from time to time, are ivory with pinkish, orange spots, or dark purple, almost black. These, along with many other local varieties, constitute a true natural heritage bearer of just as much intangible heritage that tells us of recipes, work in the fields and hearths always ready to offer hot soup.

Villalba lentil

  • CompanyAz. Agricola MessinaVillageVillalba (CL)Format400 gr


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