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Archive for the ‘Pasta’ Category

Spaghettini w. prawns basil parsley and pistachios

We know it’s Sunday and it’s getting colder and the clocks have changed, so we should really be posting a nice roast. However, we figure you probably have dinner sorted for today and you might like something to inspire you later in the week.

Wine Suggestion: the fresh, zesty Staforte Soave from Gaziano Prà would be a great match for this. Made from 100% Garganega it has apricot, peach and apple fruit flavours with touches of camomile and white flowers; followed by a textural finish. We would also try southern Italian Greco di Tufo and Falanghina’s with this dish; try to look for something with crispness, mid-weight and mineral texture and it should work.

Spaghettini with prawns, basil, parsley & pistachios – serves 4

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • a large handful of basil leaves
  • a large handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • a large handful of mint leaves
  • 75g roasted unsalted pistachio nuts
  • 1 tbsp finely grated parmesan
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 400g dried spaghettini
  • 500g raw peeled king prawns

Pound the garlic and half the sea salt to a paste with a pestle and mortar. Add the basil, parsley and mint and keep pounding together to make a thick paste. Add half the pistachios and grind them into the paste to get a creamy texture. Roughly chop the rest of the pistachios and stir into the paste with the Parmesan, lemon juice and 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Season with some more salt if needed and black pepper.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salty water to the boil and cook the pasta until al dente.

Put a heavy-based frying pan over a high heat and add the rest of the olive oil. Fry the prawns for a minutes on each side, then season with the remaining ¼ tsp of sea salt. Remove from the heat.

Drain the pasta and keep a little of the cooking water. Immediately tip the pasta back into the pot, then toss together with the herb paste and cooked prawns. Add a little of the pasta cooking water if necessary to loosen. Serve immediately on warm plates.

(Original recipe from Neil Perry’s Good Cooking, Murdoch Books, 2016.)

 

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Courgette lasagne

It’s the season where vegetables seem to come in waves of excess. Here’s a nice weekday lasagne for any of you that are still harvesting courgettes.  Our friend Nicola also dropped by with some home-grown salad ingredients including these pretty nasturtiums.

Wine Suggestion: We think fresh, crisp whites work with courgettes really well and when combined with pasta and cheese naturally lean towards young Semillon, Chenin Blanc or Chablis. To mix it up a bit, however, we tried the Villa Sparina Gavi di Gavi from Piedmont in Italy, another good option.

Courgette Lasagne – serves 6

  • 8 plum tomatoes, halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, lightly bashed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • ½ tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 leeks, sliced into rings
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 100g baby spinach
  • 500g courgettes, grated
  • 10 lasagne sheets
  • 250g tub of ricotta
  • 125g mozzarella, torn
  • 50g Parmesan, grated

Heat the oven to 200C/180 fan/gas 6.

Put the halved tomatoes onto a baking tray with the garlic, oil, rosemary and season well. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until soft, then discard the rosemary and remove the skin from the garlic. Put the tomatoes and garlic in a blender and blitz a few times to make a chunky sauce.

Meanwhile, put the leeks in a pan over a low heat, add the butter, season and cook for about 10 minutes or until soft. Add the spinach and grated courgettes, and continue to cook for another couple of minutes to wilt and soften. Set aside.

Layer the ingredients in a large ovenproof dish starting with a layer of tomato sauce, then some pasta, followed by ricotta and vegetables. Repeat until all the ingredients are used, finishing with a vegetable layer. Scatter over the mozzarella and Parmesan, then bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.

(Original recipe by John Torode in BBC Good Food Magazine, August 2016.)

 

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Pasta with red peppers and sausages

We love dishes like this! So cheap and easy yet tastes of Italian holidays. Try and find some good Italian sausages as they tend to be really well flavoured.

Wine Suggestion: the fresh and pure fruited Rocca delle Macie Chianti Vernaiolo was our successful match with this. With no oak this is a delicious expression of cherry fruited flavours that celebrates the freshness of the dish at the same time.

  • 1 small red onion, finely sliced
  • 3 red peppers, deseeded and cut into 2cm squares
  • 4 pork sausages – try and get your hands on some Italian ones if possible
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • a couple of pinches of salt and chilli flakes
  • 5 ripe tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped (cover with hot water for a minute to make them easier to peel)
  • 400g pasta, we used rigatoni but use any short pasta variety
  • plenty of freshly grated Parmesan, to serve

Run a sharp knife down each sausage and remove the meat from inside the casing. Crumble roughly with your fingers to break it up a bit and set aside.

Over a medium-low heat, fry the onion in the olive oil with a small pinch of salt until soft but not browned. Add the chilli and sausage meat, crumbling it with your fingers, then fry, breaking the pieces up with the back of a wooden spoon until the meat is no longer pink. Add the peppers, another pinch of salt and cook, stirring every now and then, for another 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook for another 15 minutes or until the sauce is rich and thick and the peppers are very soft.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in  boiling salty water until al dente. Warm a large bowl, then mix the cooked pasta with the sauce and the grated Parmesan before serving.

(Original recipe published in The Guardian 18th July 2017.)

 

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Broccoli, walnut & blue cheese penne

We almost always have a bit of leftover blue cheese in the fridge and much as we love a cheese board, we don’t tend to have them on weeknights. So here’s a simple weeknight pasta – broccoli, walnuts & blue cheese – yum!

Broccoli Walnut & Blue Cheese Pasta – serves 2

  • 200g penne pasta
  • 250g broccoli florets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a handful of chopped walnuts
  • 100g blue cheese e.g. dolcelatte, cubed
  • 1 lemon

Cook the pasta in a large pan of salty water and add the broccoli 4 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small pan and gently fry the walnuts for a minute.

Scoop 4tbsp of the pasta cooking water out and add to the walnuts before draining. Return the pasta to the pan and add the walnuts and blue cheese. Stir gently until the cheese melts. Squeeze over some lemon juice before serving.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Tomato and sugar snap pea pasta salad

We’ve really embraced salads recently, especially as this Irish summer has been quite nice and sunny. This works as a main dish or as a side and will feed a large crowd. It’s nice to find a pasta salad that doesn’t rely on heaps of mayonnaise!

Tomato & Sugar Snap Pea Pasta Salad – serves 6

  • 9 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 x 5 cm strips of orange zest
  • a thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and cut into tiny matchsticks
  • 600 g cherry tomatoes
  • 6 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 60 ml olive oil plus 2 tbsp (and a bit extra for drizzling at the end)
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp sea salt plus extra
  • 200 g scallions
  • 200 g sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved
  • 350 g pasta e.g. penne, casarecche or fusilli
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • a large bunch of basil, leaves picked and shredded
  • a large bunch of mint, leaves picked and shredded

Preheat the oven to 160ºC.

Put the garlic, thyme, orange zest, ginger, tomatoes, orange juice, 60 ml olive oil, brown sugar, salt and a pinch of black pepper into baking dish and toss with your hands. Place in the oven to roast for 50-60 minutes, tossing every 20 minutes or so. Discard the thyme and orange zest when the cooking time is up.

Separate the green and white parts of the scallions. Cut the green parts in half lengthwise and then across into 5 cm lengths. Slice the white parts into halves or quarters, depending on their size. Heat a large frying pan over a high heat and add 1 tbsp of oil. Add the sugar snap peas and spread out into a single slayer. Cook, turning once, until charred on both sides, about 4 minutes, then transfer to a large bowl.

Heat another 1 tbsp of oil in the same pan. Add the green and white parts of the scallions and spread out in a single layer. Cook these in the same way as the peas, until charred. Transfer to the bowl with the sugar snap peas and season with salt.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, then drain and transfer to a large bowl to cool. Toss it occasionally to prevent it sticking together.

Add the tomato mixture, the sugar snap peas and onion, the lemon juice, most of the basil and most of the mint, to the pasta. Toss gently with your hands to combine without breaking up the tomatoes too much. Season with salt and pepper and a bit more lemon juice if necessary.

Serve with the remaining herbs scattered over the top and drizzle with olive oil.

(Original recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi on bon appétit.)

 

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Cheesy tuna pesto pasta

Oh this is soooo easy and has become a regular feature in our house at lunchtime on Saturdays. Also adored by the resident 3 year old which is always a bonus. Maybe save the wine for after 7pm 😉

Cheesy Tuna Pesto Bake – serves 4 generously and the leftovers are good

  • 400g penne pasta
  • 200g tin or jar of good quality tuna in olive oil
  • 190g jar of pesto (we find that off the shelf rather than out of the fridge works better here as the fresh-made pestos make the dish a bit oily)
  • 100g cheddar, grated
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, halved

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the pack.

Meanwhile empty the contents of the tin of tuna (including the oil) into a large bowl and add the pesto. Mash together with a wooden spoon. Stir in about a third of the cheese and all the tomatoes. Heat the grill to high.

Drain the pasta and stir into the bowl with the tuna and pesto mixture, then tip into a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Put the dish under the grill for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese has just melted.

Serve with salad and garlic bread if you like.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food.)

 

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Radicchio & Gorgonzola pasta

In some ways this is an opportunistic dish because we don’t always see Radicchio in our grocer’s shop. We love the creamy, salty, bitter flavours  which come together with the rich creamy sauce. We like serving it with a bit of Parmesan too, but it’s not necessary.

Wine suggestion: The Rocca delle Macie’s Vermentino from the Maremma was our choice and the crisp, almost sappiness, helped to cut through the richness and complement the bitterness of the radicchio. If we’d had one we would have loved to have tried a good, dry Lambrusco from near Bologna. We could be wrong but think this might work too.

Pasta with Radicchio & Gorgonzola – serves 4

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 radiccio, shredded
  • 50ml white wine
  • 4 tbsp cream
  • 75g gorgonzola
  • 300g pasta

Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water according to the timings on the packet.

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and fry the onion until softened, then add the radicchio and continue to cook until wilted.

Add the white wine and season. Pour in the cream, melt in the gorgonzola and mix through the cooked pasta.

(Original recipe from BBC Olive Magazine, April, 2014.)

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