Mains, Pasta

Walnut and parsley pesto

From the same article about walnuts as the walnut soda bread recipe below.

Walnut and parsley pesto
Pesto is, of course, perfect with pasta, but I also serve this one as a sauce-cum-relish with grilled lamb chops or steak. Serves four.100g walnuts 1 fat garlic clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped100g hard, mature goat’s cheese (or Parmesan), grated50g flat-leaf parsley leavesAbout 150ml good olive oil (or extra-virgin rapeseed oil)Juice of ½ lemonSea salt and freshly ground black pepperPut the walnuts and garlic into a food processor and process until finely chopped – but still with some granular texture. Add the cheese and process again briefly. Add the parsley and blitz again to chop the leaves, then begin trickling in the oil, while the processor runs. Stop when you have a sloppy purée. Taste, season as necessary with lemon juice, salt and pepper. If you don’t have a food processor, you can make the pesto with a large pestle and mortar, crushing the ingredients together in the same order.Store in the fridge – if you completely cover the surface of the pesto with oil so all air is excluded, it should keep for a couple of weeks.

Mains, Pasta

Tagliatelle di Pollo

This is one of my favorite recipes.
Enough for four portions.

Ingredients for Tagliatelle di Pollo:
400g tagliatelle
250g chicken breast
300g leaf spinach
Half an onion
150g goats cheese
400ml cream
3 cloves of garlic
Fresh parsley
Fresh chive
Olive oil

Preparing the Tagliatelle di Pollo:
Slice the chicken in thin slices. Chop the onion, herbs and garlic finely. Fry the garlic gently in some olive oil. Add the chicken and let it fry.
Add the cream, herbs and goats cheese (in small pieces). Let this cook until the cheese is melted. Lower the heat.
Put on water for the tagliatelle.
In another pan, roast the pine nuts. Put in a bowl for use later.
Fry the onion with some olive oil in the same pan. Add the spinach leafs and fry this.
Put the cooked pasta in the sauce and let this cook together a bit.
Put the spinach on a plate, add some roasted pine nuts, add the tagliatelle on top of this. Add some more pine nuts, a string of extra virgin olive oil, some black pepper and maybe some basil.

Mains, Pasta

Pasta sauce with pancetta and mushrooms

This is my freestyle version of an “Tomato and anchovy pasta sauce” recipe found here.

This will be enough sauce for three big portions or four medium sized ones.

You need:
500ml roast tomato sauce
1 onion
25-50g of anchovies in oil
70-100g of pancetta (italian bacon)
50ml of Creme Fraiche
Some mushrooms

How its made:
Heat some olive oil in a big pan, chop the onion finely. Choose how many anchovies you want, I took about half a 50g tin. Chop the anchovies finely. Fry the onion gently until its soft and nice but not colored. Add the anchovies. Cook for something like 10 minutes and stir.
While the anchovies and onion is cooking – Take another pan and put in a small amount of olive oil. Fry the pancetta in this pan. They fry very fast so don’t leave them too long. The goal is to get a nice brown color. Use some kitchen tweezers to turn them. Put them on kitchen paper so they get dry and crispy.
Chop the mushrooms into quite fine pieces and fry them in the same pan as the pancetta just left. Leave the oil from the pancetta in there. When the mushrooms are nice and brown reduce the heat.
Stir in the roast tomato sauce and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Put in the mushrooms and the creme fraiche. Bring back to a simmer and add the pancetta (break it into smaller pieces). Taste and season with salt and freshly grounded black pepper (be careful not to salt too much, the anchovies and pancetta will have added some salt already).

Directly put it on top of freshly cooked pasta, trickle with extra virgin olive oil, put some black pepper on and add a few fresh basil leaves.

Mains, Pasta

Roast Sieved Tomatoes

Found this recipe in Guardian Weekend. It was quite easy to make and it was a great base for a pasta sauce. Only problem is that you need to buy and carry home a lot of tomatoes. 😉
Two kilos of tomatoes fill up two oven trays so if you want to do more than 1 litre you need more trays.
Don’t worry if the sauce looks to watery, it is easy to reduce in the pan.

Roast sieved tomatoes Here’s the basic procedure, but do vary the amounts of garlic and herbs to suit your own taste. Makes about a litre.At least 2kg ripe, full-flavoured tomatoes – use different varieties and a mixture of sizes, all cut in half2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped2 tbsp olive oilSalt and freshly ground black pepperA few sprigs fresh thyme and marjoram (optional, but preferable)Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Arrange the tomato halves – tightly packed but not on top of each other – in an ovenproof dish. Mix the garlic with the oil and trickle evenly over the tomatoes. Season lightly with salt and pepper, and throw in the herbs, if using.Roast for 45-60 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft, pulpy and slightly charred. Rub the mixture through a fine sieve, discard the skins and seeds, and that’s it – your sauce is ready to use.
From this article.