Cooking with the guys: Part One - Past'e lenticchie
October 29th, 2009

Show me a neat – doable – pasta shape and I’m sold. It doesn’t take much to twist my arm and that’s what happened when I first laid hands on a dear friend’s book. Anonyme Köche is the name of Claudio Del Principe’s food blog as well as his brand new book and besides the fact, that I think he is a super talented writer and has the most wonderful name (Del Principe – I’m sure others would kill pay for his name, myself included), his book is a perfect way to introduce this cool blog to those who prefer a real book over its digital alter ego.

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Claudio says that this recipe will serve four shepherds, which begs the conclusion that shepherds indeed must have a very healthy appetite. I halved the amount of pasta that went into the soup and still, we devoured it for two days in a row, providing us with six gracious portions. But since it was SO GOOD, this is no complaint, rather an extra big THANK YOU to the author ;)

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Below you’ll find Claudio’s original recipe and the small changes I’ve made in brackets – this is the perfect comfort food for upcoming foggy, frosty autumn days!

Heat the olive oil in a large pot and sauté the gently squeezed garlic cloves, the bay leaves, the celery root (coarsely cubed) as well as the chili. Add the mashed tomatoes (I used tomato paste instead, about half of the original amount) as well as the rinsed black lentils (I used Pardina) and fill up with about 700 ml of water. Season very well with salt and black pepper and reduce over low to medium heat until the lentils are soft to the bite, about 30 minutes (I had to add more liquid).

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Prepare the pasta before: Make a pasta dough from the flour and the eggs and add a little water if necessary. Roll out pretty thin with your pasta machine, then cut in thin stripes and lastly in tiny rectangles (6x6mm) called Quadrettini or Quadrucci. If you’re not in the mood for making pasta, buy fresh Tagliatelle and cut them into little rectangles with a huge knife. Cook in boiling salt water for 2 or 3 minutes and – important! – keep the cooking water when draining.

Add the Quadrettini to the lentils (I used only half of the pasta, next time I would also reduce the amount of lentils) and fill with as much of the reserved pasta water as necessary until you receive a tempting, shiny soup with a wonderful aroma. Whoever wants to pimp this soup with bacon or pancetta may do so, just add it finely chopped in the beginning.

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Past'e lenticchie á la Claudio

Recipe source: Anonyme Köche, Claudio Del Principe, p. 124

Prep time: ~1 hours

.

Ingredients (serves 4):

8 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, gently squeezed

2 bay leaves

optional: pancetta or bacon

50 g celery root or 1 celery stalk

1/2 small chili (peperoncino)

1/2 celery tuber, coarsely chopped

8 tbsp mashed tomatoes

about 300 g black lentils

salt, pepper

.

Pasta (Quadrettini)

400g all-purpose flour

4 eggs

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