Pasta & Lentil Soup (Pasta e Lenticchie);

Pasta e’ literally means “Pasta with/and” it is generally the combination of short pasta with beans, or other combinations such as pasta e Ceci (with chick peas) or pasta e patate (with potatoes), pasta e lenticchie (with lentils) these are fundamental dishes that define Italian Style family cooking; most Italian households have there own interpretation of a Pasta e fagioli (beans) recipe, which differ due to regional, local and family influences and/or preferences; Paste e’ can be prepared Semi dry or a soup like consistency; depending on your preference.

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Recipe Serves 5;

Ingredients;

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250 grams short soup pasta

1 small onion

1 small carrot

1 stick of celery

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup Extra Virgin olive oil

2 cans of Lentils drained;

2 bay leaves

1.5-2  liters of vegetable or chicken stock (use stock cubes if you do not have fresh) depends on how dry or wet you would like it?

Optional Ingredients;

50 grams of chopped Pancetta or add a piece of cured pork such as ham hock or speck or even a whole pork sausage for added flavour;

Preparation;

roughly dice the onion; carrot and celery

finely slice the garlic;

drain the cans of lentils into a colander and rinse;

tip;

if you don’t have any short pasta in your pantry; you could simple break up some spaghetti or bucatini (see picture) instead;

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Cooking;

using a casserole pot or stock pot;

add the olive oil over medium heat;

add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery (opt: Pancetta) fry ingredients until softened; do not brown or burn the garlic!

add the lentils and fry for a few more minutes to coat the lentils with olive oil ;

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add the stock, and then bring to boil;

add the pasta and stir a few times to prevent it sticking to the bottom;

cook for the pasta for at least the time recommended on the pasta packet; or longer if you prefer;

Serving;

Serve with a ladle into soup bowls, top with a generous sprinkle of grated Parmesan; and some very crusty bread; and of course dependent on time of day; a glass of your favorite wine;

Buon Apetito;

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