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Pasta

There are over 600 different Italian pasta shapes in a variety of colours and flavours They are all interchangeable with any sauce or topping with the exception of lasagne and cannelloni of course! There is no difference in the cooking method for dried or fresh pasta-the only rule being that fresh pasta takes much less time to cook. Always drain as soon as it is cooked, pour the topping or sauce overĀ  and serve at once. Likewise, baked pasta dishes are best served as soon as they are ready, or the pasta continues to absorb any liquid in the sauce and the dish can became dry.

Pasta alla Salsa Verde (Pasta with Green sauce)

serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion,chopped

4 rashers bacon, rinded and chopped

1 tsp chopped fresh basil

1/2 tsp salt

Freshly grounded black pepper

350g/12oz fresh or frozen peas

175ml water

120 ml single (light) cream

350g pasta twists

2 tbsp unsalted (sweet) butter

75g Parmesan cheese, grated

Preparation

Heat the oil and fry(saute) the onion and bacon for 3 minutes. Stir in the basil,salt,pepper and peas. Pour in the water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 12 minutes until the peas are soft. Remove the pan from the heat and puree the contents. Return the sauce to the pan and stir in the cream over a very low heat. Keep warm. Add the pasta to a large saucepan of boiling water and cook for 10 minutes until tender but firm. Drain and return to the pan. Add the butter and toss well. Place in a warmed serving dish, pour over the green sauce and sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Manzo con Pasta (Steak with Pasta)

serves 4

1 tbsp oil

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

100g / 4oz Parma ham, chopped

175g / 6oz top rump steak, diced

100g / 4oz mushrooms, sliced

60ml / 4 tbsp white wine

175ml beef stock

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

salt and freshly grounded black pepper

2 tbsp double (heavy) cream

350g/ 12 oz conchiglie

Preparation

Heat the oil in a frying pan (skillet) and cook the onion and garlic for 1 minute. Add the Parma ham and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add steak and fry (saute) until browned. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 15 minutes. Pour in the wine and bring to the boil. Cook until the liquid has reduce by three-quarters. Stir in the stock, thyme, salt and pepper. Simmer over a low heat for 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Cook the conchiglie in boiling, salted water for 8-10 minutes until just tender, then rinse in hot water. Drain well and turn the pasta into a warmed serving dish. Pour over the steak and ham mixture.

Pitto Affumicato con Spaghettini (Smoked platter with Spaghettini)

serves 4

225g / 8oz Parma ham/salami/dried salt beef slices, mixed

275g / 10oz sapaghettini (very thin spaghetti)

175g / 6oz sun-dried tomatoes in oil

salt and freshly grounded black pepper

90ml / 6 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

175g / 6oz creamy, soft goats cheese

75g / 3oz Parmesan cheese, grated

Preparation

Divided the sliced meats between individual serving plates. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the spaghettini. Cook until just tender. Drain the sun-dried tomatoes, reserving the oil, and chop roughly. Drain the spaghettini. Return to the saucepan and toss in the tomatoes, olive oil and basil. Add the reserved tomato oil if desired. Stir in the goats’ cheese and cook for 2-3 minutes. Serve the pasta with the sliced meat.

Spaghetti con Frutti Mare (Pasta with Seafood Topping)

serves 4-6

2 onions, chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

150 ml white wine

225g / 8oz shelled small scallops

225g / 8oz peeled prawns (shrimp)

Salt and freshly grounded pepper

1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

450g / 1lb spaghetti

Preparation

Fry(saute) the chopped onions in the oil for 5 minutes. Heat the white wine in a saucepan and add the scallops. Poach for 3 minutes and add the prawns. Continue cooking for 3 minutes, stirring contentiously. Stir in the onions and season with the salt, pepper and parsley and heat through. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and pour in the pasta. Cook for 10 minutes, drain and serve with the seafood mixture.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2011 in Italian foods

 

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