Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Pasta for an autumn day in July....

This weather is fully unacceptable.  How am I supposed to fit into a bikini next week when I'm eating like it's winter today?

The only upside to this drizzle and wind is that I can cook a creamy, rich pasta dish - and not feel quite as guilty as I normally would at this time of year.

I sort of adapted the recipe from this Brian Turner recipe on the BBC's website.  In essence I wanted a creamy artichoke and tomato pasta - with basil for a bit of freshness - and a garlic butter crumb for a bit of excitement (hold the olives.)

I fried half a red onion and some garlic in olive oil, with half a red chilli added to cut through the oncoming richness, then added some chopped up artichoke hearts:

and some semi-dried tomatoes, and let that all cook gently in the saucepan for five minutes. Then I added half a cup of vegetable stock, made with my trusted Marigold powder - goodness, I love this stuff:
And about a cup of single cream.  I let everything cook gently for another five or so minutes while the sauce thickened, then added a handful of chopped fresh basil leaves as a nod to freshness.

I had this very beautiful tagliatelle in the cupboard:
which allegedly has raddichio in it, but clearly tastes exactly like regular tagliatelle once you've boiled all the flavour out of it...
Finally I fried some Panko breadcrumbs in olive oil and butter for 2 minutes,
then added some finely chopped garlic for a further 30 seconds, to make a crunchy, golden garlic breadcrumb topping.

(Breadcrumbs are / were traditionally used as a 'poor man's' substitute for parmesan in the south of Italy.)  For good measure I grated a tiny bit of rich man's parmesan on top too - just because there wasn't enough fat in the dish at that point.

The result was delicious - creamy, crunchy, full of flavour and texture - light and yet utterly comforting and lovely.  It almost made up for the fact that it's raining and windy and utterly unlovely outside.  

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