Wednesday 3 September 2014

Jamie Oliver's Trapani-Style Rigatoni from 30 minute Meals.

This dish I cooked for dinner should have been called 'Trapaneeeeasy-style Rigatoni'...

hehe get it!?

Ok I'm lame but maybe it's a little funny.... just a little?

If you didn't get my terrible joke, this was a very easy dinner to make which suited a grocery shop night perfectly. It meant we saved $50 on takeaway, it was super healthy and tasted way better than anything we could have ordered or ready made meal we could have picked up from the supermarket.

Earlier this week I made Jamie Oliver's Trapani-Style Rigatoni from 30 minute Meals. Jamie Oliver's 30 minute Meals cookbook has huge, three course meals in it which feed a family of 4 -6... not a small team of two. So instead of making the whole kit and caboodle which according to Jamie only takes 30 Minutes... I have my suspicions let me tell you. I think you'd have to be a crazy chicken to achieve it in 30 minutes. I only make one component of the meal which was plenty for the two of us and a green iceberg salad. But please, if anyone actually has cooked one of his big 30 minute meal dinners in the given time frame or at all please comment below and tell me how you went. I do feel a challenge coming on for a blog post in the future which includes this book and my iphone stopwatch... hmmmm.

Jamie Oliver's Trapani-Style Rigatoni from 30 minute Meals.

I would have loved the entire meal - Trapani-Style Rigatoni, Grilled Chicory salad, Rocket and Parmesan salad and a Limoncello kinda Trifle - but I think I'd need a second stomach to fit it all in, not to mention a washing up wench to work over time! So the Trapani-Style Rigatoni by its lonesome it was. This pasta served with a simple green salad would easily serve four people for dinner.

Growing up I used to love mums pesto she made in her food processor called 'osca'. It was spicy from the raw garlic but cheesy and creamy from all the parmesan cheese and pine nuts. The colour was vibrant green and herby from the basil and turned the olive oil green that slicked my lips afterwards as I wiped my plate clean with a slice of bread after I'd demolished a huge bowl of spaghetti. It was always a bit of a treat to have because mum wouldn't be as keen as dad and I were on the raw garlic she put in it. We loved it! It was even better when she used the home grown basil in the height of summer when its at its most fragrant. She always served it with a tomato salad dressed in balsamic vinegar and fresh oregano. One of my favourites in summer to end a meal, the vinegar cutting through the olive oil and finishing it of lovely.

Jamie Oliver's Trapani-Style Rigatoni from 30 minute Meals.

The Trapani-Style sauce is kind of like a lighter, sweeter pesto sauce. You don't have to cook it so it only take as long as the pasta does to cook which is a great mid-week meal. And If you have any left I think it would be great on some crusty bread with some cold meat and salad... mmm I'm already wishing I'd made extra for this weeks lunches! It uses almonds instead of pine nuts and also has cherry tomatoes through it which gives it that sweetness and lightness. The basil wasn't the best that I bought but in summer when the bunches are huge and smell like what I'd imagine an Italian summer garden to smell like I think this dish could be a real winner. It does use anchovies too... turn your nose down! I can see you turning your nose up from here!! I can't stand the smell of anchovies, or the way they make your fingers smell but when you add them to things as a seasoning rather than a flavour... its like a salty magic. I will admit I used only 2 fillets instead of 4 like the recipe says... I was too chicken.... but I couldn't taste them at all. I was almost disappointed that I didn't man up and add the 4 like Jamie said to. Next time I'll add the four like recipe says.

I can already tell that this pasta will become a staple in the summer. Easy, quick, fresh and minimal mess because everything gets bunged into a food processor and whizzed! Also when its stinking hot in our apartment and anything more than one stove element on is too much to handle this will be a perfect dinner.

If you want to give the entire meal a go, please let me know how you go otherwise I strongly recommend the rigatoni.
Jamie Oliver's Trapani-Style Rigatoni from 30 minute Meals.

Jamie Oliver's Trapani-Style Rigatoni from 30 minute Meals cookbook.

Serves 4

500g rigatoni pasta
40g parmesan cheese
100g whole blanched almonds (my packet of almonds said 110g... I used the whole packet)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1-2 red chilli's, stalk removed
2 large bunches of fresh basil
4 anchovy fillets in oil
450g cherry tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil

- Add the rigatoni to salted boiling water and cook according to packet instructions or al dente.

- While the pasta is cooking, make the Trapaneeeeeasy sauce :)

- Trapaneeeeesy sauce: Put the almonds, parmesan, garlic and chilli's into the food processor (using the bowl blade) and blitz until fine. Next add your anchovies, two thirds of your tomatoes and 1 1/2 bunches of basil and keep blitzing until it becomes a paste. Add about 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, taste then season with some salt and pepper.

- Half your remaining tomatoes and pick the leaves off the 1/2 a bunch of basil left and set aside (I forgot to do this step...).

- When your pasta is cooked to perfection, reserve a little cooking water and add the pasta and sauce back to the hot pan, mix well and add a little splash of the cooking water if it looks a little dry to loosen it up. Toss the remaining tomatoes and basil in and serve immediately.

Enjoy your meal with the relief that there is hardly any washing up.

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