Eats, Shoots & Reads

Eats #20: Nutty Nut Nut!

Ingredients: 115g pine nuts, zest and juice 2 lemons, large bunch fresh parsley (from my very own herb garden), 215ml extra virgin olive oil, 150g parmesan, 50g peccorino manchego, 500g tagliarini tagliatelle, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper.

Difficulty: 1/5
Rating: 4/5

First make the dressing/sauce by crushing half the pine nuts in a pestle and mortar until a smooth paste. Empty the paste into a large bowl and add the remaining pine nuts, lemon zest, juice, olive oil, grated parmesan and grated manchego. Finely chop half the parsley and add to the dressing/sauce and season with salt and pepper.

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add the pasta until cooked. While the pasta is cooking place the bowl of dressing/sauce on top of the pan to allow it to heat slightly.

Drain the pasta, retaining some of the starch water to loosen the sauce. Add the pasta to the dressing/sauce and mix thoroughly (adding starch water if necessary). Plate up the pasta and finish with shavings of parmesan, parsley and whole pine nuts – serve!

Review

Firstly… what is Tagliarini and where can you buy it? Jamie’s recipes are usually good when it comes to ingredients – most supermarkets sell what I’m looking for but on this occasion Tagliarini was impossible to find. I tried 3 different supermarkets, a deli and a local market – In the end I had to substitute for Tagliatelle (as suggested by the recipe).

To be honest I’m not a big fan of pasta dishes unless it’s a lasagne, moussaka, or something smothered in sauce, so I wasn’t expecting great things from this recipe. It’s essentially pasta, cheese and pine nuts – not overly complex or exciting I think you’ll agree.

Despite my reservations I think this dish actually worked quite well. The flavours were subtle and the cheese added a nice kick to the pasta.

The real gem in the recipe was the pine nuts. I’ve never (knowingly) had pine nuts and I was really surprised! The nuts are crunchy and creamy and as a paste they make a really smooth, silky, yummy paste. I think I’ll make myself some home made pine nut butter to have on toast – Yum!

My only criticism of the dish was the olive oil to lemon ratio as some mouthfuls tasted a little oily for my liking. Not a dish I’ll rush to redo but I was pleasantly surprised.

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