Posts Tagged ‘Silver Spoon’

We’ve picked up a habit of paying for pasta dishes in Italian restaurants in town. There’s nothing wrong with the pasta dishes but there’s something wrong with paying €10 (or more!) for something you can make a vat of for far less than that. So we’ve resolved to cook our own pasta dishes from now on – starting with this Penne Arrabbiata from Silver Spoon Pasta. You will probably have most if not all the ingredients already which makes this practically free!

Penne Arrabbiata – to serve 4

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 a fresh chilli, seeded and chopped
  • 500g tinned chopped tomatoes, drained (we used a 400g tin but might use 2 x 400g tins next time)
  • 350g penne lisce (the smooth sort)
  • 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley
Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the garlic and chilli and cook until the garlic turns brown. Remove the garlic cloves at this stage and throw them away.

Add the tomatoes to the pan, season with salt and cook for about 15 minutes.

Cook the penne in a large pan of salted boiling water until al dente, then drain and tip into the frying pan.

Toss over a high heat for a few minutes, then transfer to a warm serving dish. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

(Original recipe from The Silver Spoon Pasta, Phaidon, 2009).

Wine Suggestion: Italian wines tend to go with Italian foods as they are naturally high in acidity which makes them a perfect complement to tomato-based sauces. You don’t need to splash out for this dish. We had our favourite every-day wine Il Casolare, an IGT from Marche, which combines Sangiovese and Montepulciano. Interesting and food friendly but smooth and easy at the same time. On offer now in Mitchell & Son for €9.50 – bargain!


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We’ve been away all weekend, so after 2.5 hours in the car we needed a tasty treat: this delivered the goods really well and was quick and easy. The recipe is from our favourite pasta book, The Silver Spoon: Pasta, which never ever fails.

Conchiglie’s great for creamy sauces as all the cheesey goo gets caught in the shells.

Conchiglie con Gorgonzola e Pistacchi – serves 4 but easily halved

  • 50g pistachios
  • 100g Gorgonzola, diced
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • 300g conchiglie
  • 40g Parmesan, grated

Put the pistachios into a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over. Leave to stand for 3 minutes. Drain well and rub the skins off with your fingers – don’t burn yourself! Chop the kernels and set aside.

Cook the conchiglie in plenty of boiling, salted water until al dente.

Meanwhile put the Gorgonzola and the cream into a small saucepan and stir constantly over a low heat until smooth. Set aside until your pasta is done.

Drain the pasta and tip into a warm serving dish. Toss with the melted Gorgonzola, chopped pistachios and Parmesan.

Serve right away and enjoy.

Wine Suggestion: If we’d had one we would have drunk a Greco di Tufo with this – a full-bodied but crisp and minerally white from southern Italy. It also has a nutty character which would compliment the pistachios nicely.



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We were in a local Italian restaurant just after Christmas and tasted these amazing sausages. When we asked where we could get them the waiter said they import them direct from Siena but the chef might let us buy a few. So we now have a stash of them in the freezer and this is the first recipe we’ve tried. If you live near a good Italian restaurant we highly recommend you try and blag some sausages off them. If you can’t get good Italian sausages get the coarsest ones you can find for this. Not exactly virtuous but comfort food at its best.

Baked Savoy Cabbage – to serve 6

  • 1kg Savoy cabbage, cored and cut into strips
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g Italian sausages, skinned and crumbled
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 300g mozzarella, sliced
  • 200ml double cream
  • 40g Parmesan cheese, grated

Cook the cabbage in boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain and refresh in iced water. Drain well again and spread out on a tea towel.

Heat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Brush an ovenproof dish with olive oil.

Put the sausages in a saucepan with the oil and heat gently. Stir in the tomato puree and 5tbsp water, season and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes.

Make a layer of cabbage in the dish, season, add a layer of mozzarella, add a layer of sausage, top with another layer of cabbage and season. Continue making layers, seasoning each layer of cabbage, until the ingredients are used, ending with a layer of cabbage.

Pour the cream over the top, sprinkle with the Parmesan and bake for 40 minutes.

Serve with some crusty bread as you will want to mop your plate at the end.

(Original recipe from Silver Spoon)

Wine suggestion: We had a glass of Domaine Brusset, Cairanne Blanc 2010 which is dry, savoury and worked well but we thought it might also be nice with a dry Sherry like a Fino or Amontillado.


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