Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Dinner on the Double!

Gemelli con Ricotta Fresca, Menta, Basilico & Zucchine
Gemelli with Fresh Ricotta, Mint, Basil & Zucchini

Gemelli are great little noodles! Being the word for "twins" in Italian, Gemelli are 2 little tubes of pasta that are twisted together to feel great on your tongue, be wonderful carriers of sauces and dressings and generally to make the world a better place. Yep- you got it... I am a fan! 

This incredibly quick and easy dish can be whipped up in literally 10-15 minutes, using just a few fresh herbs, a spoonful or two of fresh ricotta and just a half of a zucchini per portion, it is also light and healthy enough a treat for you to enjoy it free of guilt. Well almost. You see- you might enjoy so much that you dig-in to a second helping... so beware!

When I say "on the double", I mean "on the double"- meaning that you need to turn on 2 hot-plates on your stove tops to make this and to be busy from the get-go. On the first, set your self a saucepan boiling, ready for the pasta. Whilst that is happening, add a drizzle of olive oil to a frying pan on the other. Finely chop a little garlic and Spring onion and start this frying in the pan as soon as the oil is hot. And whilst they are sizzling away and the water for the pasta begins to boil- add that too and then get busy with the herbs and the zucchini...

I sliced half of a zucchini as finely as I could and added them to the garlic and onions, stirred them through and let them sizzle a little, whilst I finely chopped some parsley, fresh mint and basil.  By the time the zucchini slices began to turn translucent, the pasta was more than half boiled and I drained it off and added it to the frying pan along with the herbs. I seasoned with salt, pepper and nutmeg, stirred it through thoroughly and added a good splash of milk. I then let the pasta simmer away for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the milk had become mostly absorbed. 

After 2-3 minutes, I removed the pan from the heat and added a couple of tablespoons of fresh ricotta- there is no need to overdo it- you just want to dress the pasta nicely. I stirred it through thoroughly and then served it up with a little black pepper, a generous grating of nutmeg and a light drizzle of olive oil- and that was it! Quick as a flash, tasty as can be, cheap, cheerful and delicious! So go ahead and make it why don't you? You know you want to! Buon apetito!

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