Monday, January 13, 2014

Oozy Cheesy Pasta

It's been a while since I've posted anything dealing with food. Over the weekend, I made Jamie Oliver's Oozy Cheesy Pasta for the whole family.

My version, as usual, contained a few extra items. I added pancetta, sweet Italian sausage, peppers, and shaved parsnips strips ( which I used a veggie peeler, as in this recipe).  For the cheese, I used Parmesan and some Fontina and chose to use the creme fraiche rather than the mascarpone. I omitted the walnuts as well as the garlic but added more Thyme to the fixings as well as the topping.

Here's his recipe:

  • sea salt
  • 3 heaped tablespoons mascarpone cheese or crème fraîche
  • 100 g mixed leftover cheese (a little less than a cup)
  • 250 g dried taglierini
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • For the pangritata:

  • 2 slices of quality sourdough bread
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, thyme or marjoram, leaves picked
  • 5 shelled walnuts
  • olive oil

After all the hard work of your epic Christmas dinner, you need something that's comforting and delicious up your sleeve, which you can bosh together without too much hassle. This recipe is great for using up any leftover cheese from your Christmas cheeseboard – I tend to chuck in a mixture of hard, soft, strong and mild cheeses, but go easy on the blue cheese (that stuff can be strong!).

To make the pangritata, lightly toast the sourdough. Peel the garlic, then blitz in a food processor with the toasted bread, herbs and walnuts until fine. Preheat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil, then add the pangritata and fry for around 5 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and place a large heatproof bowl on top. Add the mascarpone or crème fraîche to the bowl along with the leftover cheeses, crumbling or grating any harder varieties first, then stir until melted. Carefully remove the bowl from the heat and set aside, then turn the heat up to high. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to packet instructions. Drain, reserving a cupful of cooking water, then add to the bowl of melted cheese and toss to coat, adding a splash of the reserved cooking water to loosen, if needed.

Transfer to a serving platter, drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle the crispy pangritata on top and serve right away.


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