🕤 5 min read
Bellissimo! That’s how I would describe this joyous day known as National Pasta Day. As the resident office chef, I am in my element and who doesn’t love a good pasta dish, they can be hearty or light. It is comforting on a winter night and the perfect meal for a sunset meal in summer.
A food that has transcended and has many variations across the globe, with each country putting their own spin on classic versions of Sicilian dishes. Below are some dishes that are worth giving a go this National Pasta Day ranging from the traditional to the unconventional.
Sicilian cooking is all about meat, cheese and vegetables, the three food groups in my head. We have the ultimate recipe for combining two of them for a sumptuous meal that is perfect whether in summer or winter.
The fennel infused sausage pasta from The Pasta Project is complemented by the mild and sweet chard combined with hearty broccoli. All on the table in under an 1 hour but well worth it when you take that first bite.
Big flavours and even getting some greens, what a great dish all around.
All The Veggies
Burrata has become increasingly popular and now a mainstay in most supermarket aisles. This cheese is a close relative of mozzarella but with this amazingly gooey interior, heaven in a mouthful.
Combining this with a homemade sun-dried tomato pesto is a great meal to have the family or friends drooling. Maybe just substitute the pecorino or parmesan for a vegan alternative to ensure it stays vegetarian friendly. Sun dried tomatoes have become a staple of our fridge and the perfect treat and addition to a plethora of meals.
Pasta Vegan Style
Cooking vegan especially pasta can be a challenge but not impossible with the often forgotten and comforting gnocchi. A potato based dumpling that is made from combining flour and potato for the ultimate flavour bomb.
The (vegan) buttery sauce that Pasta Evangelists suggest is a light but flavoursome addition and bound to be loved by vegan and non-vegan alike. The optional dusting of nutritional yeast is a great substitute for cheese as it has that flavour profile to it.
As you can gather I love cooking and experimenting with flavours both simple and complex.
My perfect pasta dish whether in the height of summer or those more cosy winter nights has to be the simplistic and quick spaghetti aglio e olio also known as spaghetti with garlic and olive oil from Naples. Fresh and inexpensive. My personal recipe is below.
- 112g of Spaghetti
- 3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 7 cloves of garlic
- Pinch or more of Red Chilli Flakes
- Juice and zest of 1 Lemon
- Small handful of parsley or pinch of dried parsley
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Get some water on for boiling ready for the spaghetti with a large pinch of salt
- Once boiled add this and cook for a minute less than the cooking instructions so it has a nice chewy or al dente texture
- Get a sauté/frying pan on a low to medium heat with the olive oil
- Start slicing your garlic, you want thin and consistent slices
- Add your sliced garlic to the olive oil and cook gently, add water to cool down the cooking process if needed
- Once the garlic is nicely blond add as much Red Chilli Flakes as you like with a pinch of salt and grind of black pepper
- Once your pasta is cooked, save some of the pasta water in a mug (pasta water is the secret to many great dishes)
- Use tongs to get the pasta in the garlic pan and coat with that oil
- Slowly add water till the pasta is glossy and a emulsion is created
- Add the zest and juice of the lemon along with your parsley
- Taste and check seasonings
The key to this dish is that starchy pasta water which gives the dish a glossy sauce and as an added option, you can add parmesan for a touch of salty cheese.
I hope you find a recipe to celebrate this National Pasta Day and hopefully you have found a new staple meal for your family or friends. Share pictures of your pasta dishes with the #PLPasta