pesto

Week 48: Broccoli Pasta chopped Garden Salad

I do declare that this was the last salad of the summer – I’d planned on cooking something a bit more hearty as the weekend felt a bit back-endish (which is a Nottinghamshire term for autumnal, nothing rude haha) but my lover came in clutching the Jamie Oliver book and insisted.

It’s as if he wanted me to spend hours cleaning the kitchen…

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Apparently he’d had his eye on this recipe for a while, understandably so – it’s got a very pretty picture ūüôā this recipe is for four, but with a chunk of garlic bread or something it’d do 6 I reckon (with dessert). ¬†To make this you will need 320g dried orecchiette (or similar small pasta) a bunch of fresh basil, a 50g tin of anchovy fillets in oil, a lemon, 2 cloves of garlic, a dried red chilli, 30g Parmesan, a large head of broccoli and 50g pine nuts. For the salad you will need ¬†2 carrots, 1 avocado, 3 ripe tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar ¬†and rocket (Jamie asks for 70g, but I used the whole pack – what else was I going to do with it?)

Now, usually I would type out the method to the letter, but this recipe just doesn’t work well if you try and do it as it is in the book. ¬†Firstly, cut the florets off your broccoli and set them aside for later, then with a box grater grate the stalk and the carrots onto a board (my board got stuck behind the radiator so I used a big serving dish) squeeze and kneed the avocado with your fingers, then squish it out of the skin into the salad (throw away the stone and scrape the skin for any remaining flesh and throw that away too) roughly chop the tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic, season with salt and pepper and then toss it all together with the rocket. This is the salad done so pop it on the table out the way.

Next you need to get the liquidiser out, and then turn the kettle on. ¬†Measure out a tablespoon of the oil from the anchovies and tip it in the liquidiser – then drain the rest of the oil and put the anchovies in the liquidiser with the basil and the juice and zest of the lemon. Squash the garlic (Jamie says use a garlic crusher but I don’t have one) and put it in the liquidiser with a splash of boiling water. Then finely grate the Parmesan and add that, and crumble in a dried chilli. I couldn’t find a dried chilli in the whole of Hammersmith, so I kept sprinkling chilli flakes in until it looked like a chilli-worth – it wasn’t the best plan but it was chilli-ish.

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Turn the liquidiser on and keep on going until¬†it’s smooth. While it’s whizzing away pour boiling water into a pasta pan and salt it; then add the pasta and cook as recommended on the packet.

If you’re serving this up at a glamorous party, tip the pesto (which is what you just made by the magic of the liquidiser) into a serving bowl. ¬†Add the broccoli florets to the pasta when it has about 5 minutes to go. Heat up a little frying pan and toast the pine nuts until they’re golden.

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When the pasta and broccoli are cooked, take a cup full of the water from the pan then drain the rest, then tip the pasta into the pesto (if you’re not using a serving dish return the pasta into the pan and tip the pesto in over the top of it) and coat the pasta. Add a bit of the pan water if the pesto needs loosening at all. Sprinkle the pine nuts over the pasta and grate a bit of extra Parmesan over it too. Then serve.

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Doing it in this order takes slightly longer than 15 minutes, but without the panic and total kitchen destruction.

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It was tasty. ¬†It was like a punchier version of the Pasta alla Genovese I made back on week 30 (https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/week-30-pasta-alla-genovese/ ) I’d definitely make it again, but not for just the two of us – it’s an impossible recipe to cut in half, so we ended up having it two nights in a row (I put half the pesto and salad into the fridge and did fresh pasta and pine nuts on the second night). It was a bit too much two nights in a row, but it’s definitely one for sharing with friends in the garden on a summer evening with a beer.

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Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver (Penguin 2012 ISBN: 978-0-718-15780-7)

jamie 15min

 

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Week 30: Pasta alla Genovese

I know its a bit of a cop out, but my brain dribbled out of my ear as I chewed on the ears of my seventeenth Lindt bunny, so I chose this recipe purely because it was green.

Green just like the spring haha.¬† I have never cooked with Pesto before, or said the words “Ooo its got pesto in, I’ll have that”, so I thought it would be good to try something new.¬† And it meant I got to use the machine again…

Vroom!

As I read the ingredients list, I thought about getting garlic bread so I could pack all the carbs into one dish, but decided that the pasta and potatoes would be enough on their own.

To make this for 4 you will need: 500g floury potatoes (like King Edwards, cut up into half inch chunks), 500g linguine, 200g fine beans, 100g basil leaves, 100g grated Parmesan, 1 garlic clove, 100ml olive oil, and 100ml extra virgin olive oil.

You will need a large pan, filled with enough salted water to boil the potatoes and the pasta.  Put the potato chunks in and bring to the boil and boil for 20 minutes.

Add the pasta and boil for the length of time recommended on the packet and four minutes before the end, then throw in the beans.¬† Note: if you are using fresh pasta, boil the potatoes for 28-30 minutes and then put the beans in, put the pasta in so it will be cooked when everything else is done… use dried pasta.

Nigella says that for this dish you need to make the pesto yourself, in a blender!¬† Vroom!¬† While the pan is on with the potato and pasta put the basil leaves, Parmesan, garlic and oil into the mixer and blitz it until it looks like pesto… which is really hard to photograph.

Take half a cup full of the cooking water from the pan and then drain the potatoes, pasta and beans.  Off the heat return them to the pan and stir in the pesto and the cooking water and serve immediately.

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I’m not entirely sure what I did wrong; it just didn’t really taste of anything.¬† My friend suggested that I’d not salted the water enough (I had) and I thought maybe my Parmesan wasn’t flavour-full enough.¬† While it smelled amazing and looked devine it was pretty bland so I don’t know if I’ll make it again.

And I still don’t totally see what all the fuss is about with pesto!

 

Kitchen, by Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus 2010, ISBN 9780701184605)

Nigella Kitchen