10:42 | Posted by Nim Headland | Category

Pasta for Spring


I know, I know, it's been ages. I've not really really cooked anything new or enlightening to blog about for a little while. Between-season cooking is uninspiring, and I am sad to admit that quick and functional after-work dishes are the order of the boring day at present. This dish is after-work friendly, untaxing and thankfully requiring little washing up, but it has propelled me into summery tastes and textures with it's zingy cheerfulness. It's a recipe that eases you into the new season gently, a bridge between a stew and a watermelon salad. The indulgent creaminess makes it a suitable candidate for cooler, unpredictable days but the lemon and green vegetables are pure summer.
The recipe is adapted from Good Food online, that brilliant resource for any slightly jaded cook. This is my tweaked version and there isn't much in it, but you can have a look at their original here:

For two, gather 250g of fettuccine
A smallish head of broccoli
75g frozen petit pois
Half a bag of baby spinach, or three chunks of frozen leaves.
75g mascarpone or cream cheese. Light philadelphia works fine if you want to lower the calories a bit. It's nearly bikini season after all!
Juice and zest of half a lemon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
A good dose of freshly ground black pepper
About 30g of Parmasan
10 torn basil leaves

Firstly, put your pasta on to boil in a roomy pan of salted water. With 3 minutes left of cooking time, add the broccoli, frozen spinach (if using) and petit pois. Give fresh spinach about 30 seconds. Drain the pasta and veg, reserving a ladleful of cooking water.

Return to the pan, and over a low heat stir in the mascarpone, lemon zest and juice, most of the Parmasan, the basil and a splash of cooking water. Season with the nutmeg, a touch of salt and a few good grounds of pepper. Stir through, until the mascarpone has melted into a sauce and everything is hot. Serve with the remaining Parmasan. I bet it would be good with prawns...

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