Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Two simple pasta dishes.

Again I apologise for the little sabbatical i have been on, but the transfer from student to real working life has taking a hit on my writing. This rude interruption to my blog however does not mean i have stopped cooking, and this post is two quick pasta dishes I have whipped up over the course of the month.

It is also to try and follow the beautifully written restaurant reviews of one of my favourite chefs chain of restaurants, Carluccio's.

These are all very simple, and I am not trying to insult anyone's intelligence but they are just little ideas to create fantastic simple suppers.

Also I have said to use certain types of pasta, but obviously choose which ever one you like best. The best dried pasta is in my opinion De Cecco, it is a bit more expensive, but definitely worth it.

Slow roasted tomato and chilli Linguine.


Cherry tomatoes - About 300g
Red chillies - 2 relatively mild ones
Garlic - 2 cloves
Olive oil.

This really is all you need for this. Put the tomatoes into a low oven whole for a good hour (you can do this before hand and just heat them later). While they are cooking, finely chop or grate the garlic, and slice the chillies.

Boil a big pan of water with lots of salt (this raises the boiling point) until it is in a rolling boil and add the linguine. 

Heat the oil in a frying pan and gently fry the garlic. Add the chillies and slow roasted tomatoes to this and gently heat. 

When the pasta is cooked drain, and add to the tomatoes and chillies. Mix well. This shouldn't really be a sauce, but a mixture of the olive oil and the sweet juices of the tomatoes should provide a lovely covering.

Obviously season well, and cover in parmesan. A drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice adds a bit of depth and also looks good.

Zil is unfortunate enough not to have tried this yet, so a Zilometer score has not been applied.

Spinach, pine nut and ricotta penne.

I am obviously not going to claim responsibility for this combination, as it is age old, but this pasta dish is very definitely, awesome.

Pine Nuts - as many as you want
Spinach - about half a big bag
Ricotta cheese - About half a small pot
Sea salt

Get your big pan of water on the boil, and add you pasta.

Pan fry your nuts in a dry pan. Beware these will turn very quickly so don't burn them. Put them to the side and when your pasta is cooked drain and it to the pan with a couple of spoons of their cooking water and a small knob of butter. 
Add your spinach and ricotta and stir in the frying pan until the ricotta has melted and toss in the pine nuts.
You will need to season this one well as spinach and ricotta love salt and pepper.

Zilometer: A rather harsh 7.5/10 for this dish from Zil, was made up for by an admission later that his postprandial satisfaction was a heart-warming 9/10

I hope you enjoy these lovely pasta dishes, they really are piss easy and really tasty. I do realise they are both vegetarian so my next post (post payday) is going to be a feast of meat, and i promise pictures.

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