Off the north coast of Sicily in the Tyrrhenian Sea, the small, volcanic island of Ustica is home to a family who cultivates a unique variety of lentils. They use traditional and organic methods, picking the crops entirely by hand, as the lentils are a protected Slow Food. The rich, fertile soil produces tiny, flavorful lentils which do not need to be soaked in water before cooking. They are naturally tender, imparting a particularly distinctive, robust flavor. Ustica lentils are at home in classic Italian soup and pasta dishes as well as in the finest haute cuisine.