Monday, 21 November 2011

How to be a Pasta Master

Penne con Straccetti di Manzo, Zucca, Sedano, Maggiorana & Ricotta Salata
Penne with Beef Strips, Hokkaido Pumpkin, Celery, Marjoram and Salted Ricotta

Tonight was a night for using up bits and pieces that were left over from the weekend and I love doing that! It is like giving myself a licence to throw caution to the wind and just go a little bit more crazy than usual! Having said that, the ingredients that I needed to use up just went wonderfully together- and the result was simply a great plate of pasta!

I had 2-3 strips of the beef carpaccio left over from Saturday and a chunk of hokkaido pumpkin that I wanted to use up. Also, I still have more of the marjoram I bought. Not being accustomed to using fresh marjoram so often and thrilled as I was from the mashed potatoes from last night, I decided to use some for my pasta too. It was a very quick and easy meal to make and it went something like this...

I put the penne on to boil and at the same time pot the beef, which I cut into small strips, the celery and pumpkin in slices and some finely chopped garlic and onion, into a non-stick frying pan and tossed them together for 4-5 minutes. I seasoned them with salt, pepper, nutmeg and a good handful of freshly plucked marjoram leaves. I added a ladle of hot broth from the pasta to this mix and let it simmer gently and let all of the different flavors blend together.

In the meantime, after about 8 minutes, I drained the pasta and put it straight into the frying pan with the other ingredients. I added a sprinkle of ground chili or peperoncino, a tiny splash of olive oil and mixed everything together nicely. And that was it! You can't get much easier than that!

I served it with a little sprig of fresh marjoram and a sprinkle of grated salted ricotta cheese... a few grinds of chili powder... and simply Buon Apetito!

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