This week I thought I'd use on of my favourite types of pasta - pappardelle.
I'll be making a dish from my mother's region of Emiglia-Romagna - Pappardelle with pancetta and lentils. It may seem odd combining pasta and a legume but you see it quite frequently in Italian cuisine. If I was being more authentic I'd use lardo but it's difficult to source so I've substituted pancetta. Another change is that I'm using Australian black lentils.
100 grams pancetta, cut into lardons
1 cup black lentils
parsley leaves, roughly chopped
Cook the lentils:
If you are looking for a quicker option, you could use canned lentils instead.
These cooking instructions only apply to these specific Australian Black Lentils.
Place a pot of water to boil and when boiling add the lentils. Stir and remove from the heat. Cover and let it stand for about 15 minutes.
Cook the pancetta:
Place a non-stick skillet over a medium heat - when heated, add in the pancetta and cook until browned. There's enough fat in the pancetta for it to easily brown, there's no need to add any oil or butter initially.
Once the pancetta is golden and crisp, turn down the heat and add the lentils - stir and cook for about 5 minutes to allow the flavours to mingle. Finish off with a tablespoon of butter and a handful of chopped parsley - the butter adds a gloss to the lentils.
Add the cooked, drained pasta to the lentil mixture, along with some finely shaved parmesan - toss this well and tumble out onto a serving bowl. Finish with extra parmesan and parsley if desired.