Tuesday, 20 September 2011

5 minute Pasta with Sage, toasted Pinenuts & Parmesan

Ok, so I race out the office door at half 5, take the 30 minute journey home, collect TJ. I get it in at 6.15pm, then there's the operation of getting school bags, shopping, handbags, dinosaurs and toy forklifts out of the car. Maybe empty the dishwasher. Maybe. Do I want to face into preparing a dinner that involves 14 saucepans and skidding around the kitchen? .....I think not.
The smell of sage brings me back to
 my early twenties..Ahem

I saw a recipe on the online edition of the New York times and adapted it to make it my own. Sage caught my eye as I've loads growing in the garden and until now, had no real use for it rather than sage & onion stuffing if I'm honest. Now I've discovered the real depth of flavour of sage I'm excited about experimenting more.

Sage is so easy to grow, has a beautiful flower in the summer and our Irish climate is ideal for a healthy perennial crop. The leaves are pretty and soft and have a grey green hue and have quite a peppery aroma. I'm so thrilled to have discovered this herb is not one dimensional like I had previously thought.

I thought the roasty flavour of toasted pine nuts would fuse with the fragrant sage, and oh boy did it....! This combo of flavours would probably be pretty good with a risotto bianco, why not try your own?

Sage, toasted Pinenut &
The flavours fuse like magic
Parmesan Spaghetti
Enough fresh Spaghetti for 4
2 oz of butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
one good bunch of sage leaves, torn
one small bag of pinenuts, toasted 
3 heaped tablespoons of grated proper Parmesan (packet stuff is banned, ok!)

1. Put on your pasta and cook as per the packet instructions
2. In the meantime, melt the butter on a really low heat and add the shallot and garlic and cook very slowly until translucent.
3 Turn up heat and add torn Sage leaves, cook on a high heat until butter starts to foam.
4. Add one cup of cooking water from pasta, and cook on a high heat until reduced slightly.
5. Add parmesan, this will give a luscious creaminess to sauce
6. Toss through cooked pasta with toasted pinenuts and top with more parmesan if desired.

This dish is really light and has an autumnal feel. Hold back on the butter & parmesan if you want to keep the calories down, but where's the fun in that?