summer tagliatelle recipe with Thomasina Miers tomatoes, roasted nuts and nduja pesto | Food


Sthrowing small chunks of ‘nduja, the intensely spicy Calabrian garlic sausage spread, in the fridge or freezer is the kind of modern housekeeping I think Mrs Beeton would appreciate; it’s the culinary equivalent of having frankincense and myrrh in your back pocket. Its rich, round flavor comes from a chili peculiar to Calabria, and its flavor merges and seeps into other ingredients, giving them some of its bold and sassy demeanor. It’s nicely fiery in these seasonal tagliatelle.

Summer tagliatelle with tomatoes, roasted walnuts and ‘nduja pesto

Fresh tomatoes and sherry vinegar add a touch of acidity that dances lightly through the garlic, spicy and nutty sauce.

Preperation 10 minutes
to cook 40 minutes
Serves 4

100g of walnuts
1 large clove of garlic
, peeled
1 small handle thyme leaves
3 large ripe tomatoes
5 tablespoons of olive oil
, plus extra for the service
40g ‘nduja
½ tablespoon of sherry vinegar
400g of fresh tagliatelle
4 handles
rocket, to serve
Parmesan cheese, to serve

Heat oven to 180C (160C fan) / 350F / gas 4. Spread nuts out on a baking sheet and roast for 10-12 minutes, until golden, then remove and let cool.

Meanwhile, put the garlic in a mortar, add a big pinch of salt and crush into a paste. Add thyme and walnuts, and mash into breadcrumb-sized pieces. (If your mortar is small, mix the ingredients in a small food processor instead.)

Put the tomatoes in a bowl, add boiling water to cover and let stand for 30 seconds. Drain, peel and cut the flesh into small cubes. In a medium bowl, beat the oil in the ‘nduja to make a loose paste, then stir in the vinegar and nuts, stir in the chopped tomatoes and season to taste.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the tagliatelle according to the package directions. Drain, reserving a cup of the cooking water, then return the pasta to the pot and pour it into the pesto ‘nduja. Place over medium heat and toss to coat the pasta, adding a few tablespoons of the reserved cooking water at a time and waiting for the water to be absorbed before adding more; you just want enough water to make a glossy, syrupy sauce.

Transfer to plates, garnish with arugula and sprinkle generously with finely grated Parmesan. Add a good dose of olive oil for good measure and serve immediately.

And for the rest of the week …

This sauce is so good, you should quadruple the amount, freeze it in small containers and spread it on a bruschetta with burrata and basil, or use it as a sauce to wrap meatballs.

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