Friday night, another crazy week, what to cook? Fresh pasta that came through the letterbox the evening before, that’s what.
A satisfyingly neat and elegant cardboard box (if cardboard boxes can be elegant) was awaiting me in the fridge, complete with simple instructions on how to cook and compile from the little pots and bags that lay within.
A brief introduction on each of the cooking methods gives some fascinating background to each style of pasta. Who knew that Paccheri, a large tubular-shaped pasta from Sicily, was invented in the Middle Ages to smuggle southern Italian garlic into Prussia, whose version of the much-loved allium was seriously inferior?
With the prerequisite Friday glass of wine poured, all I had to do was bring some water up to the boil for the pasta and gently heat up two other things. In the case of the garlic-smuggling tubes, it was the most delicious sauce ‘Alla Norma’, made with slow roasted aubergine and tomato which packed a seriously flavoursome punch, especially once scattered with a hard ricotta cheese which gave it a pleasingly salty bite. Our second course was on the go, this time some lovely ‘girasoli’, a sunflower-shaped version of ravioli filled with a smoky and quite spicy chorizo. Meanwhile, I melted some sage butter and then stirred the freshly cooked pasta into it, before dishing up and scattering with broken up grissini. Pronto!
So if you’re looking for an easy, restaurant-style way to wonderfully fresh pasta, which has clearly been prepared by people who know their Pecorino from their Parmigiano, give the Pasta Evangelists a go. Buon appetito!