Saturday, 26 March 2011

Simple Supper in Lent 3 - Parsley Pesto Pasta

I didn't get this recipe out on time. Sorry about that folks, but you know, yesterday was the Feast of the Annunciation, and so technically not a fast day. This recipe is full of joy for me. I love it. I love the spring too. This week I have basked in the sunshine, rejoiced watching bouncing lambs play in the fields here about and laughed at the summer games of the school kids I teach. The world expects. That is what this food is about. Expectation. That is why I chose it for yesterday, even if I didn't publish it on time. :)

The truth be told, I have also been really busy and blatantly failing at my pledge to steer clear of alcohol during Lent (except on Sundays, and yes, I do count that from Saturday night). There is always a chilled bottle of Chardonnay in the fridge in this house, and it is just so tempting, when you crawl through the door at 7pm to pour a little glass while you cook the dinner. Anyhow, I wrote this week off early on and am going to try again next week. *swigs chilled Pinot Grigio*

So, the simple supper this week is truly simple, but it has an edge of luxury to it. A taste of spring, and a sense of joy in all things. It really is best eaten with a cool glass of your finest crisp white wine, I promise. But, if you are virtuous, buy a really really really posh juice instead and mix it with sparking water. :)

Garden Pasta Pesto

The flat leaf parsley has sprung!

2oz of fresh flat leave parsley
2 - 3 garlic cloves crushed
2oz pine nuts (or, if they are going to break the bank, and they can, go for walnuts instead)
150ml extra virgin olive oil (about, see how it goes)
3oz freshly grated parmesan

Mix together the above ingredients in a large bowl, and then blend them with a hand held blender. This will make a load of pesto, but seriously, what is left over can go in sandwiches or be used as a cooking sauce for chicken or fish, or anything. It is great.

100g+ of fresh Pappardelle for each person you are cooking for. You know who the hungry people are.

Big, wide flat strips of pasta are the best for this dish. You can make your own, and if you fancy it, check out the method for Tagliatelli here, but cut the pasta into wider strips, 2cms at least. Bring a huge pan of salted water to the boil, plenty of space for the pasta to cook, and add for 3 - 4 minutes, or according to the cooking instructions on your packet.

Mix your pasta with your pesto, and serve generously into wide flat bowls, with a shake of parmesan and a sprig of parsley to go. Yum.

You know, if you think this recipe is a bit too simple, there are lots of things that can be added, finely cut lengthways strips of courgette, for example? Asparagus and tiger prawns, if you want to go all out.  Do with it as you will, but once you have made one version of homemade pesto, life in the kitchen will never be the same again. Every herb, you see, can be mixed with every nut, so the combinations are endless. :)

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