Pasta y Fagioli is a classic of Italian cuisine. Derived from la Cucina Povera (cuisine of poverty) Italians have long combined pasta and legumes for a nutritional punch above its weight. This elegant variation is la Cucina Povera elevated to the “n”th degree. Tagliolini is tagliatelle that is ½ the width. If you don’t have the resources to make the pasta, any quality tagliolini (or tagliatelle) will do. Fettucine is too thick for this dish. If all else fails use spaghettini.
- 1 lb fine durum semolina
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp of water
- ½ tsp salt (processed in a coffee grinder to be quite fine)
Combine ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Wrap in plastic and let rest 1 hour before rolling.
Using a pasta machine, roll out pasta to quite thin, and then cut in 3 mm strips.
Dust with flour and hold until ready to cook.
- 1 litre full bodied vegetable stock
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup black beluga lentils
- 2 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp 35% cream
- 2 Tbsp parmigiano reggiano, grated
- 6 lobster claws, par cooked and de shelled
- ¼ cup butter, salted
- 2 tbsp good quality white wine
- 2 tbsp Fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
Bring vegetable stock and salt to a boil, reduce heat to medium and add beluga lentils. Simmer 15 minutes or until a little past al dente. Drain immediately and reserve.
Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt liberally add a splash of olive oil.
In a small pot warm the butter and wine until butter melts. Add lobster claws and warm through, about two minutes. Turn heat off and hold.
In the large pot of boiling water, add pasta and cook one to two minutes or until al dente. Drain in a colander, reserving 2 tbsp of the cooking water.
In a large metal bowl, combine the lentils, pasta, extra virgin olive oil, parmigiano, cream and reserved pasta cooking water; toss to combine all.
Divide pasta and lentils among six warmed serving bowls and top each with a warm lobster claw.
Sprinkle each dish with a little Italian parsley and serve immediately.
Chef Michael Howell
Tempest Restaurant, Wolfville, NS
Chef Michael Howell is the proprietor of Tempest Restaurant in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Michael is the leader of Slow Food Nova Scotia, sits on the board of Taste of Nova Scotia and is President of the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia. He is a graduate of Dalhousie University and trained as a chef at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago. Chef positions have seen Michael in Chicago, Toronto, Detroit, Boston, New York, and the Bahamas before returning to Nova Scotia in 2002. Michael has twice been invited to cook at the prestigious James Beard Foundation in New York City.