Friday, February 8

Spaghetti with Purple Sprouting, Chilli, Pinenuts & Basil

Purple sprouting broccoli is one of those early vegetables that signifies Spring is around the corner. Although in season, you may find it a little hard to find at the moment as my veg-man says the cold wet weather has been playing havoc with supplies. I managed to get some though so not that hard to find!

This pasta dish may sound unusual but really is just a twist on a classic Italian dish from Puglia where Orecchiette pasta (it's just one of the myriad of shapes) is combined with turnip tops and chilli. So, so, so easy to make, it is just an assemble job really. For two:

Good quality spaghetti - 120g
Purple sprouting - 200g prep'd weight
Big fat red chillis - 4, deseeded
Garlic - 2 fat cloves, peeled and finely chopped
Butter - 50g
Parmesan shavings - 50g
Pinenuts - 50g
Lemon juice - a good squeeze
Basil - 1 large bunch, leaves removed from stems, stems discarded

Toast the pine nuts & cook the linguine as per the packet instructions. Drain the pasta and reserve the water. Bring the water back to the boil and quickly blanch the purple sprouting. In another large saucepan, melt the butter and gently fry the garlic and chilli for a minute or two. Toss in the pasta, pine nuts, half the parmesan, half a ladle full of the pasta water, the lemon juice and the basil. Season and warm through to wilt the basil. Drain the purple sprouting and toss into the pasta. Taste and adjust the seasoning and lemon juice. Plate in large bowls and top with the remainder of the parmesan.

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