Thursday, 30 June 2011

Griddle Me This...

Tortiglioni con Avocado alla Griglia, Salsiccia Piccante & Peperoni Rossi
Tortiglioni with Grilled Avocado, Spicy Sausage and Red Peppers

Sometimes I can be a little impatient... you too? For example, when you buy an avocado and it takes a couple of days to ripen and mature, right? And sure, we all know you can put them in a paper bag or next to a banana to speed up the procedure... and sure you can just buy a ripe avocado! But you can also pop an unripe avocado onto a griddle and get it wonderful and brown on the outside... and let the heat soften up the inside and turn the already wonderful mild flavor into something altogether more delicious!

I love the mild, buttery taste of avocados- they are wonderfully versatile and can be flavored in a multitude of ways. Still, there are a couple of favorite flavors of mine that I like to use with avocado and they are Tabasco and lime. Avocados, with their naturally rather neutral flavor, are wonderful vehicles for the freshness of the lime and the heat of the Tabasco. But you know I am not going to leave it at that, right? Let me give you a couple more ingredients to make a perfect Summer pasta dish!

This is going to be another quick, tasty, cheap and healthy recipe... four wonderful ingredients in any meal. You will need couple of handfuls of pasta, an avocado, a spicy Italian sausage and a bell pepper to make 2 servings. And 15 minutes of time. Yes, I knew you would like that part of it... so let's get cracking!

You can use any kind of pasta, but I chose tortiglioni to make my dish tonight. These short rigatoni have just the right size and the right amount of bite to compliment the nice chunks of avocado. Boil them in well-salted water as according to the on-pack instructions, drain, rinse in cold water and set to one side. Being as we are going to dress the pasta with olive oil and lime juice and not have a sauce, we want to make sure the cooking process stops the minute we remove the pan from the stove.

Now for all of the tasty stuff!

We have a very little prep-work to do- but the actual cooking will all be done in 10-15 minutes. Halve, peel and chop the avocado into nice, large, bite-sized chunks. Slice up the sausage diagonally (it is good to have as large an open surface as possible when grilling) and spread it out onto a very hot grill pan. If you have a sausage with a nice garlic aroma- wonderful, if not, as soon as the sausage starts to release its juices, add a sliced clove of garlic to the pan. Once the sausage is nicely browned, remove from the pan and add the avocado chunks on one side and the peppers on the other, Try to keep them separate so you can judge the cooking times better- but try to do them at the same time so you will have a relatively warm meal!

Don't be tempted to keep fussing over the avocado- let it sit still and get some nice scorch-marks. The heat will make the avocado soft, so you don't want to crush or damage it. As soon as it is nicely browned all over, remove from the pan and squeeze generously with lime juice. Now throw a couple of coarsely-chopped spring onions onto the pan whilst you start to assemble the rest...

Dress the pasta in a little olive oil, grate with nutmeg, and arrange on a plate with the sausage, avocado and peppers. Add the onions and grate with salted ricotta. Now decorate with basil leaves, ground Tabasco and chili flakes, a final squeeze of lime and a last, light dusting of nutmeg...

Need I say Buon Apetito?!?!!


  1. You saying "Yummy!" is making me happy! Thank You! Best wishes from Francesco