Usually Bart and I would eat pasta with latherings of sauce, but I felt the need for change. Something light, tasty and fresh but still packed full of awesome flavours.
Meet the crew involved..
– 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
– 1 decent handful of washed baby spinach, stalks removed
– 1 long red chilli, sliced finely, deseeded if you don’t want any heat
– 3 small cloves of garlic, finely diced
– 4-5 large swiss brown mushrooms, cut into quarters
– 1 packet or 6 nests of pappardelle pasta, or any other pasta, angel hair would work too 🙂
– 1/2 cup of pecorino cheese, finely shaved
– 1 cup of thickly cut double smoked speck pork, rind removed
– salt & pepper
– olive oil
1. First things first.. Get your biggest pot and fill it with water. Add a decent amount of salt. I once heard a chef say that water you boil for pasta should taste like the sea. So don’t skimp on the salt. Place this on the stove and bring to the boil.
2. Preheat your oven to 200*C. Coat your cherry ‘matoes in a little oil, a little salt and some pepper. Place them on a tray and pop them into your oven and bake for 20minutes until soft and blistered.
3. Place a frypan on the stove and turn the heat to medium high. No need to add oil. Chuck in the speck and fry until semi-crisp and a beautiful golden colour. Add the garlic and give it a shake. Chuck in the mushrooms, and try not to agitate them too much. Turn them over gently so that they caramelize and not stew.
4. Place your pasta nests in your pot of boiling water and cook as per directions.
5. Once your pasta is cooked, strain it quickly. Put it back in the pot, pour in the speck and mushrooms + oil, spinach, chilli, the semi roasted tomatoes, some cracked pepper and half of the cheese. Using a pair of tongs, toss all the ingredients so that they are combined with the pasta evenly. You may need to add a lug of olive oil if you feel it’s a little too dry.
6. Serve immediately. Have the rest of the cheese in a little serving bowl so that your guests can add it at will.