Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lentil as anything

Over the years I have made a lot of lentil soups. I love the rich earthiness of this dish. Mr. P does not share the same love for soups in general and lentils in particular. He says that without pasta it is just not filling enough. Seriously!

But because I love him, I found this recipe that combines his need for carbs and my love for lentils:

by Stefano di Pieri
Pasta butterflies with lentils
serves 4

1 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 small onion, peeled and diced
1 stick celery, diced
2 med. potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
200 g Puy lentils (I used the common brown variety)
2 liters of good Chicken stock, warm
salt and pepper
200g Egg pasta
1 cup tomato sauce (I used a can of chopped Italian tomatoes)
freshly grated Parmesan
extra-virgin olive oil

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large pan and saute the carrot, onion and celery until they soften. Add the potatoes and stir well. Add the lentils and the warm stock and cook for about 25min, or until the lentils are tender and the potatoes have broken down. Season with salt and pepper to taste. While the soup is cooking, prepare the pasta butterflies. Divide the pasta dough into thirds and roll them out to about 2mm thickness on a lightly floured work surface. Keep the pasta sheets under a damp cloth to prevent them drying out. Use a crenulated ravioli cutter to cut the pasta into strips about 3cm x 2 cm. With your thumb and index finger pinch each strip in the middle to create a butterfly shape. Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water.

When the lentils and potatoes are soft, add the tomato sauce - this enriches the soup. Add the cooked pasta to the soup, which should have a nice thick consistency. Serve with freshly grated cheese and a good drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

Ok, I admit, we didn't do the fresh egg pasta....I really wanted to, but somehow time just got away....but the silky taste of homemade pasta would have been divine.

I did take photos but the light was dodgy and the soup didn't look that pretty. The verdict?

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