I really enjoy making pasta by hand – the kneading & rolling are rather therapeutic 🙂 (And thanks to Annette & David, who persuaded us that we really really needed a pasta machine – for the rolling & sometimes the cutting – for an anniversary present to ourselves.) I also enjoy the fact that now it’s spring (although tonight’s temperature belies that!), the garden is well & truly producing: broad beans, spinach, spring onions, spuds – it’s just great to be able to go out & pick fresh veges for tea. And strawberries for dessert! Anyway, we had a couple of good friends coming to dinner last Saturday night, so I made (hand-cut) tagliatelle, and this is what I threw together to go with it (quantities worked well for 5 people):
- a large head of brocolli, cut into florets, blanched & refreshed in cold water
- 2 bundles of asparagues, washed & cut into 2-3cm lengths & blanched/refreshed
- the green part of 5-6 spring onions, roughly chopped (keep the white parts for the sauce)
- broad beans – about 1&1/2 cups of podded beans (I try to pick them at the young, sweet stage so I don’t have to peel the beans themselves)
Plus 4-5 rashers of bacon, grilled & roughly chopped.
- heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy pan & add the thinly sliced spring onion ‘whites’.
- while they’re softening, peel & crush as much garlic as you like (I used a couple of heads – we still have quite a bit left from last season’s crop & have been pleasantly surprised at how well it’s kept; this year’s crop is looking great in the garden!). Add this to the pan & cook a little but don’t let it colour!
- tip in a 250g tub of sour cream & as this liquefies, stir in 250ml chicken stock. Mix to combine & cook down a little. At this point the mix looked a bit thinner than I wanted (you can see why the daughter finds me infuriating to cook with!) so I thickened with a little flour. On reflection I then thinned it again with about 100ml of cream 😀
- add the veges & bacon to the pan, stir to mix & heat gently until nicely heated through.
Serve over the freshly cooked pasta, with lots of fresh grated parmesan. And enjoy it – we certainly did!