The title might have you thinking that this post is all about finding “inner-peace”, “self-acceptance” or “confidence without three gins”. If this is the case, I regret to inform that I have misled you. Your sauce can’t be taught, it is not a treasure waiting to be found; ’tis simply an elixir you need to remember to water, however that is a tale for another day.
Today’s quick dilly is a simple recipe which I am stealing with pride (unsure of the actual source – (aha!) However it is so deliciously uncomplicated, it must be documented somewhere). To share with you.
One of the tasks in my “30 before 30” list (right after ‘learn 3 new jokes’), is to perfect a new signature dish. Don’t get me wrong, mushroom risotto has served me well for the past 10 years, but I think everyone needs something simple and slutty in their back pocket for when they come home ravenous and don’t fancy pandering to arborio rice’s ‘maybe-I’ll-thicken-maybe-I-won’t’ manner.
Therefore, behold! S+S Pasta:
Serves 1 hungry individual
50g of parmesan
A hearty glug of olive oil
Sprinkle of chilli flakes
1 tsp crushed garlic
About 4-5 pinches of pepper
1 glass of wine (to enjoy whilst staring despairingly at the parmesan paste you’ve created and surely cannot reconcile).
Soundtrack : chef’s choice, but ’Yazoo’ – ‘Only You’ pairs very well.
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add your pasta.
After 5 minutes of cooking, take out approx 250ml of the pasta water from the pan and set to one side to cool. Return pan to hob.
Place the pepper in a pan and toast dry on a low heat.
Grate the parmesan and add to a separate pan with the now toasted pepper (so many pans I know, it pissed me off too).
Add a small amount of the set aside pasta water to the parmesan, pepper mix and stir, you might not need all of the water, but what you want to create is a roux-like mixture so keep stirring until the consistency thickens to something similar.
Drain your pasta and add to your mixture, combining furiously (twee tossing will not do here).
Add the olive oil, chilli flakes, garlic and a pinch of salt, continue to mix together.
Once fully combined, pop in a bowl (or eat straight from the pan à la Frankie on a Saturday), with a final pinch of pepper.
Eat in urgent, slippery mouthfuls and chase with the final remnants of your Sauv blanc.
Congratulate yourself on creating and consuming something within 27 minutes; 2 minutes less than my current 5k PB.
Bon appetit you flavoursome thing.