My favourite six-minute supper of the week (so good I made it twice):
1. Boil the kettle and heat a ring on my relic of a hob. Pour a glass of vino, rinse a handful of purple sprouting broccoli florets and check that the latest episode of The Good Wife has recorded.
2. Salt the boiling water generously, throwing in a handful or two of Noodle House tagliatelle (which I like cos it’s made in a place called Curry in Sligo, which strikes me as doubly incongruous, and cooks in three or four minutes, and cos it’s organic as well as tasty). Pop a bamboo steamer on top (said super-handy steamers are a steal in the Asia Market on Dublin’s Drury Street) and fling in the florets. Cover. Have a taste of the wine.
3. Grate the remainder of my rind of Oisín Farmhouse organic gouda-style blue goats’ cheese, which was delicious last week sliced into a salad with roast beetroot, alfafa sprouts and quinoa but which had dried up a bit over my long weekend away from the fridge – ideal for grating so.
4. Taste the pasta to check for remaining cooking time, and break up some walnuts into the simmering water to heat them through for the last minute. Oh and drink some wine.
5. Drain the pasta and nuts into a colander, reserving some of the starchy cooking water to (a) finish steaming the broccoli should it need it, and (b) moisten the final dish should it need it.
6. Tip the drained pasta into a large white bowl, and season with a crush of Maldon sea salt and several twists of coarsely ground pepper from my Peugout pepper grinder (a total indulgence picked up one day I was wondering around Brown Thomas looking for a little retail therapy, and whose six grades of adjustable settings I appreciate every time I use it).
7. Throw in a spoonful of pesto, loosened with the reserved starchy water, and toss (this is as entirely optional as my choice of entertainment, and the result was as good with as without, in both cases).
8. Drizzle over a slug of peppery extra virgin olive oil, toss in the florets, snapping them into bite size pieces, bind with the grated blue cheese (which by the way is very mild so don’t be scared) and check for seasoning before retiring to the comfiest armchair going.
9. Poise the glass of vino within arm’s reach, press play for The Good Wife, and tuck in. Pasta supper, in nine easy steps and even less minutes.