All posts filed under: Pasta

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Trafilata with ‘Nduja, Oregano and a Crispy Egg

The food inspired by hunger, a lack of time and what is available is often the best. Sometimes that is how I come up with my most interesting recipes. Like today. There is something about a crispy egg with a runny yolk. And what is the point of a runny yolk if you don’t have something gorgeous to drag through it? Something that will grab on to it and greedily try and entice some of that yolk and pull is with it as it is dragged through. The crispy egg was the first thing I craved as I was at my desk this morning. Pasta. Good pasta. In this case trafilata, a spiral noodle extricated using a bronze die so it has a firm grip and superb texture. It has great texture when cooked al dente and I just know that the bends in it will show that egg yolk who is boss, but what to have with the pasta? I thought herbs, and contemplated sage. Something fragrant and light. But then I remembered the …

Spaghetti with Clams and Chorizo

Spaghetti with Clams & Chorizo (Speedy, Easy & Very Tasty)

Have you got plans for the weekend yet? No? Right, get your pencil ready and write this list: squid ink spaghetti (or just great pasta) the best chorizo you can find lots of lovely fresh clams parsley garlic drinkable dry white wine (some for the pot & the rest for you) and then make this. Do! I promise you won’t regret it. This dish is perfect for an Autumn Saturday. It is speedy and it is so flavoursome. The chorizo gives the gorgeous briney clams a rich lightly spiced depth, the chorizo itself the colour of Autumn leaves. The squid ink noodles make it all very deep and rich (predominantly visually). It is speedy. The whole thing will be ready start to finish in 15 – 20 minutes. And you will want more, so prepare to have enough for seconds. You might even think of sharing it, with someone you like very much. Maybe. Clams seem complicated but they are the easiest thing to cook, and the flavours are perfect, especially when you have the …

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Hello Autumn! Baked Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Dolcelatte and Kale (In Partnership with Galbani)

This post is a carefully selected sponsored post, in partnership with Galbani. I went to Galbani HQ to cook fonduta with Joe Hurd, a very talented Anglo-Italian chef (see video below for recipe). They also tasked me with coming with a recipe of my own, using one of their products. I chose dolcelatte, a gentle blue cheese created by Galbani, and a cheese that I love to nibble on. Gnocchi drive the fear into most home cooks. I know, I have been there. Afraid of over working the dough and making them heavy, most people don’t work the dough enough (and it is a dough) and end up with something fluffy and despairing. I have been there too. What I realised, is that you need to show the gnocchi who is boss, while retaining a lightness of touch. Great cooking is all about taking control whilst retaining attention to detail. Lightness of touch, taking your time (when you can) and small details like fine chopping give best results. Of course, Italians will tell you too …

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Fabulous Leftovers: Cheesy Spaghetti and Ragu Frittata

So you made a big batch of ragu, and you have leftovers, or you are about to. And you don’t want to eat the same meal every day, several days in a row. People fret about leftover pasta, reheating means it loses its al dente texture, and it might get all flabby. Don’t worry, help is here. Turning leftover pasta into a frittata is a joyful thing to do.  I first described this idea in recipe form with a papardelle and ragu leftover frittata in Comfort & Spice (my first cookbook) in 2011. Recently, I had a fabulous spaghetti carbonara frittata at Vico in Cambridge Circus (the new outpost from Jacob Kenedy and team in Cambridge Circus). It got me thinking as I stared at my bowl of leftovers yesterday.  Normally, I would have parmesan with my spaghetti and ragu but I envisioned a cheesy frittata, and I needed something that would melt beautifully and that was also sharp, so I chose cheddar. This is so so simple, and intensely gratifying. The pasta on top becomes …

Spaghetti with BLack Garlic and Beef Ragu - Recipe

Spaghetti with Beef and Black Garlic Ragu

There is no point making a little ragu. Proper ragu is about time and patience and a glass of red wine and a book while you wait for it, inhaling those gorgeous smells all the way. So I make a lot, even if I am making it just for myself. I eat it in different ways over the following days, ragu just gets better and better the day after, and the day after that. Have it with pasta, put it in an empanada, or make a terrific frittata with the leftover spaghetti and ragu. I have written about authentic Italian ragu in the past (Making Tagliatelle with Ragu with Anna – an Emilia Romagna Recipe), authentic in that the recipes that I sourced were all from Italians, and mainly people from Emilia Romagna, the home of Tagliatelle with Ragu. What I learned is that ragu varies, not just regionally (Romagnola ragu is heavy on the tomato, Emilia ragu is heavy on the meat), but from house to house. Ragu usually starts with a soffrito (celery, carrot …

Nine Minute One Pan Linguine with Tomatoes, Chilli and Basil

The 9 Minute One Pot Pasta Dish from Puglia that is Taking the Internet by Storm

Yeah, that is right, the 9 minute one pot pasta dish from Puglia that is taking the internet by storm. It surely can’t be good, can it? I mean, really? I gave it a try and I was pleasantly surprised. I will make it again, and again. I am obsessed with pasta and all the good carbohydrate things (hello potato!), but I like to do things properly, and well. This doesn’t mean that they need to take a long time. I love geekery and tricks, I love surprising new ways of doing things. I like to cook something really good in just a few minutes (my first book has a chapter on Speedy Suppers which are a regular feature of my week).  It is easy to be suspicious of simplicity, but I think we are all agreed that simple good things, taste really, well, good. My curiosity around this pasta dish was based mainly in the fact that nothing was sautéed first. Wouldn’t that affect the flavour? Most dishes require a little bit of sauté, …

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Linguine Vongole with Guanciale, Tomato & Chilli

This post is about vongole (clams) but we must first talk about guanciale, the magical bacon that is cured from the jowl of the pig. It has a flavour that is different to all others. It is bacon, sure, but it has a volume to it, a roundness that consumes you when you eat it. It is big, it is present, and it is one of the best things that you can eat. It is traditionally Italian, and can be tricky to find here, I think because in the main we are so nervous about fat, which is ridiculous as fat is flavour, and we are built to digest it. Partially, it may be because it was traditional to eat the whole of the pigs head here, and maybe not cure it. Guanciale is perfection, eat it, just don’t have it every day. Clams are perfect with pasta and so good with pork. There is something about the subtle brine and flavour of the sea released from each shell, the slick saline sauce that coats the …

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Recipe: Passatelli in Brodo (AKA Parmesan Noodles in Wonderful Chicken Broth)

My first taste of this dish in Emilia Romagna awoke a hunger in me that I didn’t know I had. A new desire was immediately satisfied. Spoonfuls of broth, some gorgeous textured parmesan noodles, and repeat. Until the bowl is empty and the world feels sad. But, then you have more, and the cycle starts again. Passatelli in brodo is rich and light, sustaining and so satisfying. I adore chicken soup but this is so much more. This is chicken broth with noodles made from parmesan, nutmeg and breadcrumbs coasting inside. Why aren’t we all obsessed with this? Why isn’t it one of those dishes that every one talks about? Deeply flavoured and rich in umami, passatelli bring this chicken soup to life and soothe unlike any other. I first learned to make this in a hands on pasta class at La Piazzetta del Gusto in Nonantola, a gorgeous local restaurant in a pretty small town near Modena. The town square is full of elderly men chatting and passing the time jovially. Just beyond it …