Lemony Beluga Lentil Tagliatelle
I’m here with canned food today. Not literally, though, don’t worry! A really nasty head cold flew straight at me last Friday, and I’ve been housebound ever since. And getting bored. But not well enough or in the mood to do some elaborate blog cooking, which is why we’ll have to make do with these Lemony Beluga Lentil Tagliatelle.
This post has been sitting in my drafts folder since Easter weekend. I haven’t posted it earlier because first all the awards came tumbling in, so I did some award acknowledgement posts, then I decided that the longer I looked at the pics the less I liked them. But the recipe turned out really well, so here we finally go…
I read a lot of food blogs, and I see so much stuff I want to make that it would probably take me all year to cook through those recipes. Every now and again, though, I get inspired by what I read. Seems like my creativity has gotten a boost again after quite a long time of thinking “What could I possibly make that’s worth blogging about?”. So now I have a list of stuff that I’ve come up with that was mostly inspired by an ingredient that I found in other people’s recipes.
When I saw this recipe at Big Hungry Gnomes, I loved the idea of adding lemon peel when heating olive oil. Then one thought triggered the next: lemon peel – tagliatelle – beluga lentils – goats cheese… And here’s how my vision turned out.
I added cumin seeds, thyme leaves, lemon juice and a habanero chili to above mentioned ingredients, and in the end I used a soft crumbling feta instead of goats cheese. The feta turned out to be a touch too salty for my taste, but as the lentils were cooked without salt (according to packet instructions), that was OK; I would still try a mild goats cheese next time. My preferred choice of herbs was actually fresh flatleaf parsley instead of thyme, but due to everyone’s Easter food shopping craze none of the shops I went to had any left.
All in all, this turned out really well, just as I had envisioned it. Maybe I would add more lemon zest and juice next time, but that’s all. For those who find this too dry without a sauce, you could always add vegetable stock once the lentils are cooked and stir in some (goats) cream cheese to make a sauce.
Lemony Beluga Tagliatelle
250 g tagliatelle
100 g black lentils
2 tsp olive oil
zest of 3 lemons
juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp cumin seeds
leaves of 2 thyme sprigs
½ small habanero chili, finely diced
soft feta or goats cheese
Heat olive oil in a pan, add lemon zest and cumin seeds, stir for a couple of minutes, then add the lentils, cover with water, and add the lemon juice. [The instructions on my lentil packet said the lentil : water ratio is supposed to be 1 : 3. However, the 300 ml water I used weren’t nearly enough, I used at least 700 ml, and the cooking time was around 60 minutes instead of the 30 stated on the packet.]
About 10 minutes before the lentils are cooked, start cooking the tagliatelle.
When the lentils are about done, add the thyme leaves and the diced habanero chili, and stir well.
Drain pasta and divide onto 2 plates or bowls. Add a knob of butter to each serving (yes, it’s necessary, honestly, because there’s no sauce and the pasta will get dry quickly!), then add the lentils and sprinkle with crumbled feta or goats cheese.