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Posts Tagged ‘Spaghetti’

Spaghetti al cartoccio

This starter portion of pasta is perfect for entertaining as it can be prepared up to 6 hours in advance and finished off in the oven when required. We had this as a second course after broad bean bruschetta and followed by barbecued balsamic beef and then home-made ice cream and summer berry compote for dessert.

Wine Suggestion: lovely with a slightly chilled red, and naturally, given the inspiration from the food we’d suggest Italian. A light, lively, youthful and fruity Sangiovese hits the spot in the form of a Rocca delle Macie Chianti Vernaiolo given 30-40 minutes in the fridge before serving; chilled but not ice cold. The fresh acidity works perfectly with the fresh tomatoes and olives and the combination speaks to us of summer.

Pasta al Cartoccio – serves 4

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large clove of garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 450g ripe fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, seeded and chopped
  • 280g dried spaghetti
  • 100g large black olives
  • a handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

Cut 4 pieces of parchment paper, about 30x20cm.

Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes. Remove the garlic, then add the tomatoes and chilli and season well. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring now and then.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6/fan oven 180C.

Cook the spaghetti in salted water for half the time given on the pack, then drain well.

Add the olives and half the parsley to the tomato sauce and stir in the pasta. Taste and season to taste.

Divide the spaghetti between the pieces of paper, piling it into the middle of each. Scrunch the edges of each parcel  to seal tightly. Put the parcels in a roasting tin and bake for 7 minutes after which time the spaghetti should be al dente.

Remove the tin from the oven and transfer each parcel to a warm plate. Let everyone open their own parcels and sprinkle the spaghetti with the remaining parsley and some parmesan.

(Original recipe by Ursula Ferrigno in BBC Good Food, August 2001.)

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Spiced Meatballs in tomato sauce

We weren’t so sure about the cinnamon in this meatball recipe but it added a delicious warmth so don’t be tempted to leave it out or reduce the quantity. Much satisfied slurping!

Wine Suggestion: Tuscany beckons for this dish and the juicy red fruits of Morellino won this time to good effect. The MorisFarms (Spanish heritage but longtime settled in the Maremma in Tuscany) Morellino for our mind hits the spot and has an honesty and vitality of winemakers clearly part of their landscape. Bright red fruits and a delightful juiciness that only coastal Tuscany can deliver.

Spiced meatballs in tomato sauce – serves 6

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 2 x 400g tins cherry tomatoes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 oregano sprigs, strip off the leaves and discard the stalks
  • ½ tbsp tomato purée
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp soft light brown sugar

FOR THE MEATBALLS:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 900g beef mince
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • Cooked pasta to serve (allow 100g per person) .

Make the sauce first. Put all the ingredients into a saucepan together and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally and add a bit of water if necessary. Taste and season.

For the meatballs, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan and cook the onion until soft and pale gold. Add the garlic and chilli, and cook for another 90 seconds or so. Put the cooked onion mixture into a bowl with the beef, spices and parsley and season really well. Use wet hands to form the mince into pingpong ball sized meatballs.

Heat the rest of the oil in a frying pan and brown the meatballs in batches. They don’t need to be cooked the whole way through at this stage just nicely browned on the outside. Return all the meatballs to the pan, add the tomato sauce and cook for 10-15 minutes.

Stir the cooked pasta and meatballs together in a warm shallow bowl and serve.

(Original recipe from Food From Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2010.)

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Lemon, Prawn & Parsley Spaghetti

We try to keep a bag of frozen raw prawns in the freezer as they always feel like a special treat. This is good if you fancy a special treat on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday…

Wine Suggestion: to match this dish you can’t go wrong with a good Albariño (Spain) / Alvarinho (Portugal). What you need to look for is a bit of body as some are just a bit thin; the best have a real depth of flavour along with vibrant freshness. Perfect for the prawns and lemon.

Lemon & Parsley Spaghetti with Prawns – serves 2

  • 175g spaghetti
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 140g large raw peeled prawns, thawed if frozen
  • zest & juice 1 lemon, plus wedges to serve
  • bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Cook the pasta.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the prawns and fry quickly until pink all over.

Add the lemon zest and juice, parsley, 2 tbsp of the pasta cooking water and salt and pepper, then heat through.

Drain the spaghetti, add to the pan, then toss it all together.

Serve with lemon wedges.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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A Lebanese twist to tomato sauce with gentle spices and almonds; a lovely variation on a theme. The proportion of sauce to spaghetti is also very different to how the Italian’s make pasta so there is a lot of sauce for this dish. This worked for us but you could use the same amount of sauce for a greater quantity of pasta and therefore serve more people if you’d like.

The spices are subtle and warming and the pinches can be generous if you like.

Spaghetti with a Rich Tomato Sauce & Toasted Almonds – serves 2 generously

  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground allspice
  • pinch grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch ground pepper
  • 200g spaghetti
  • 50g flaked almonds, toasted
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley

Put the tomatoes, tomato purée, garlic and sugar into a pan and simmer over a low heat. Stir frequently and simmer for 30 minutes.

Stir in the olive oil, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, salt and pepper and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the spaghetti and cook according to packet instructions (usually between 10-12 minutes). Reserve 3 tablespoons of the cooking water and then drain the cooked spaghetti.

Return the spaghetti to the cooking pot with the reserved cooking water and the tomato sauce.

Toss well and then serve sprinkled with the almonds and parsley.

Wine Suggestion: we drank a Valpolicella Ripasso with this dish and the ripe, juicy spices went well with the warming spices of the sauce.

(Original recipe from The Lebanese Kitchen by Salma Hage, Phaidon, 2012.)

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Really simple and delicious. Works best with really fine green beans.

Spaghetti with tomato sauce & green beans – to serve 4

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 50g Parmesan
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 400g tin of really good quality tomatoes (Italian brands are usually good)
  • 100g fine green beans
  • 300g spaghetti

Finely slice the garlic and grate the Parmesan.

Heat a thick-bottomed saucepan. Add the olive oil, then the garlic and cook until soft but not brown. Add the tomatoes, season, and add the chilli flakes. Cook over a medium heat for 20 minutes.

Trim the beans, then cook in boiling salted water until very tender. Drain well and add to the tomato sauce.

Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and stir the pasta into the tomato and green bean sauce. Season and toss with a bit of olive oil.

Serve with the Parmesan.

Wine Suggestion: Nothing too big and heavy required here, try a dry rosé from Bordeaux.

(Original recipe from Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers’ River Cafe: Italian Two Easy, Clarkson Potter, 2006.)

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Sometimes the simple recipes are the best.

Spaghetti with raw tomato and rocket – to serve 4

  • 4 plum ripe plum tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 dried hot chile
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 3 tbsp black olives
  • 3 tbsp rocket
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 300g spaghetti

Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze out the excess juice and seeds, and chop the flesh coarsely. Crush the garlic with a teaspoon of sea salt with the flat of a knife. Rinse the capers, and pit the olives. Roughly chop the rocket.

Combine the tomatoes with the garlic, the crumbled chile, capers and olives. Season really well, add the olive oil and leave aside for 30 minutes.

Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, and stir the pasta into the tomatoes. Add the rocket. Toss to coat and season with black pepper.

Serve with some more olive oil.

Wine Suggestion: You want to find a wine as fresh as the ingredients being used, so try a youthful Dolcetto from the Piedmont region in north-west Italy.

(Original recipe from Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers’ Italian Two Easy, Clarkson/Potter, 20o6.)

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Lobster Spaghetti

Lobsters are really plentiful at the moment which makes the prices really low… woohoo!

Lobster Spaghetti – to serve 2 generously

  • 500g vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 1 cooked lobster
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5cm piece fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 50ml dry white wine
  • 60ml double cream
  • finely grated zest of half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 250g spaghetti

Cut a small cross in the base of each tomato and put in a bowl. Pour over boiling water to cover and leave for 1 minute, then drain and refresh in cold water. Peel the tomatoes, then scoop out the seeds and roughly chop.

Cut the lobster in half, then scoop out all the meat and cut into bit-sized chunks.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for about 30 seconds. Add the ginger and white wine and cook for another few minutes until most the wine has evaporated. Add the tomato, season well and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomato breaks down into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low, then add the lobster meat, cream, lemon zest and juice, and most of the scallions, stirring to warm through. Take the sauce off the heat, then stir in most of the parsley and season.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti until al dente, then drain.

Toss the pasta with the lobster sauce and divide among bowls. Garnish with the rest of the scallions and parsley, then serve.

Wine Suggestion: Go for a rosé but make sure it has a bit of body. A Provencal rosé would be good or if you can find it a Cerasuolo di Vittoria from Sicily.

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