Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Recipe on Test: Jamie Oliver's Wonky Summer Pasta from Jamie's 30-Minute Meals

Because of the run-up to Christmas, I spent months planning the shopping for literally one day, then got really excited about all the leftovers to be had - brie & cranberry sandwiches, chicken curry, bubble and squeak etc. THEN after that there was NOTHING. The fridge was bare except for a few eggs and a block of Parmesan. Good job I got the Jamie Oliver book 30-Minute Meals for Christmas, for here was a solution to my problem! Wonky Summer Pasta! (My cooking never works to constraints of seasonal recipe titles - we fancied pasta and it was pasta I made for the hungry rabble for lunch, even if it was December and the snowman was peeking in at us).

The recipe was really simple to follow - mix egg yolks, extra virgin olive oil, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped basil and lemon juice to make a paste. Because I had it handy I used the Garden Gourmet basil in the squeezy tube and some lemon juice from a bottle in the fridge. The paste itself didn't look very reassuring to be honest, plonked in the middle of the serving bowl but I trusted Jamie and went with it.

I boiled my pasta (spaghetti, not the sliced up lasagne sheets the recipe states) and then lifted out the soft strands with tongs and into the green-flecked yellow paste. After a mix around and a slosh of the cooking water, we had lunch on the table. The children loved it, and all bowls were clean.

It was really creamy - a bit of a bonus to have a creamy pasta without actually having cream in it - although there is quite a lot (almost a whole wedge) of the cheese. The zingy lemon flavour helped lift the rich eggy sauce and for a creamy dish it was really refreshing. The next time I make it I might throw in some prawns, their pink sweetness would work quite well against all that lemon. And while eating it I craved the salty pungency of some hot, crisp garlic bread so would get some ready the next time. And a next time there will be - it was super quick, cheap and probably the easiest recipe there is. Good old Jamie.  

 Wonky Summer Pasta can be found in Jamie's 30 Minute Meals on page 46.