Homemade Linguine with Sage Butter, Manchego and Shaved White Truffles by Moving Concepts
I love visiting bookstores (surprise, surprise). And one of my favourite store to visit whenever I go back to Vancouver is Barbara-jo’s Books To Cooks on West 2nd Avenue. As the name of the store suggests, the place is filled with a wide range of cook books, chefs’ memoirs, biographies as well as travelling books on gastronomical cities such as Paris, Tuscany and much more. Barbara-jo’s hosts dinner gatherings at her shop, inviting renowned chefs from all over the world to come and cook for food and book lovers. I think this is such a great concept! A night where we can be surrounded by great books, exceptional food and wines and lovely conversations.
She sends out a weekly email with recipes contributed by various home cooks. But today I got a pleasant surprise in my inbox with a mouth-watering poem by Barbara-jo that I just have to share.
I am white, Italian, Tartufu of Alba
Pasta-Risotto-Seafood & the Vegetable Roots.
EGGS find me weak with desire.
Travel to Perigod, where my French, Black cousin – Truffe – waits for you.
Red meat-Game birds-Creamy Leeks.
EGGS are the love of my life.
~ Barbara-jo, Owner of Barbara-jo’s Books to Cooks, Vancouver, Canada.
There are days when I get these inexplicable urges to cook something simple and satisfying for myself. This usually happens when I haven’t looked after myself ‘properly’, meaning I have been too busy to have any real alone time in the kitchen and cook something for myself.
Happy to say that I am one of those who always try to keep my pantry well-stocked with dried goods in case of any emergency food cravings. Here are a few things that I feel are essential to have in your pantry AT ALL TIMES:
– good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– a few vinegars that you like for salads (ex. Red/white wine vinegar, balsamic, etc)
– Dijon mustard
– any type of dried chilli flakes
– dried pasta and rice
– jars of anchovies, olives, capers and gherkins
– garlic, shallots, onions and lemons (these can be left at room temperature)
Sometimes a girl just needs to have a “carb-kind-of-day” … to have something of substance and starchy. My go-to has always been a comforting pasta dish. Rummaging through my fridge and pantry, I’ll usually find all of the above; and if I am lucky, I’ll have a pack of frozen prawns stashed in the freezer.
Here’s the my “Pantry Pasta” recipe.
- 100 – 120g dried spaghetti
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small shallots, finely sliced
- 1-2 anchovies
- pinch of dried chilli flakes
- Good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- optional: frozen prawns, spoonful of pesto, leftover tomatoes which you can dice up, handful of fresh herbs such as parsley and basil
- Bring a big pot of water to boil. Add 2 big spoonful of salt and cook the spaghetti for 8 – 10 minutes, or until al dente.
- Heat a big glug of extra virgin olive oil in a medium pan (by big glug, I’d say around 60ml. Sounds like a lot but this is the sauce for your pasta) over medium low heat.
- Add in anchovies, garlic and shallots and gently cook them in the olive oil for 5 -6 minutes. Make sure the heat is medium low to prevent the garlic from burning.
- Add in chilli flakes, salt and black pepper to taste. At this point, you can also add finely chopped up parsley stems to the mixture. This will give your dish a subtle herb-y taste.
- If you have prawns and/or tomatoes, now is the time to put them into the olive oil mixture. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Check if spaghetti is done. if they are still a bit chewy, is ok, as you will be tossing them in the pan with the garlicky oil for at least another 3 -4 minutes.
- Transfer pasta directly to the pan using tongs. Turn up the heat to medium and toss the pasta with the olive oil mixture.
- Add a ladle of the pasta water to the spaghetti to moisten it up. The pasta water will also help to thicken the sauce.
- Season with salt and black pepper. Turn off heat stir int chopped fresh herbs. Plate up and drizzle a bit more extra virgin olive oil on top. Add a spoonful of pesto if you wish.