Friday, 13 March 2015

Making the Best out of the Rest

Spaghetti con Salami di Tartufo, Cuore di Sedano, Ciliegini & Prezzemolo
Spaghetti with Truffle Salami, Celery Hearts, Cherry Tomatoes & Parsley


Whenever in doubt- grab a packet of pasta, get into your fridge- see what you have and you will find that you always come up with something wonderful- even if your fridge is almost bare... like mine was this evening!

But don't judge me! It is Friday after all- and Friday the 13th at that!

So before tempting fate and risking eating anything too freaky, I improvised my little pasta dish out of a last left-over hunk of truffle salami, the last of the cherry tomatoes and the slightly saggy but still delicious inner leaves of celery. It's always such a sense of achievement when you manage to empty out the fridge AND create something delicious at the same time!


The salami- especially this one, with it's rich truffle flavor, brings the seasoning into this dish to compliment the sweet cherry tomatoes- and the celery of course adds a real depth of flavor. The shallot and parsley round things off wonderfully and all you need then is a little salt and pepper... it really can be that easy to make a great meal if you balance the ingredients out- there needn't be any hard work involved at all!


To make 2 plates of spaghetti this way, you will need just a handful of slices of salami- 3" or so is plenty, Then 2-3 of the inner leaves and stalks of the celery- those paler, sweeter and more intense tasting ones... they are also the best! A little fresh parsley, 1 shallot, 9-10 cherry tomatoes, salt, pepper- the end. That is a lot of flavor you have right there in those ingredients- all you need to do is to get it into the pasta! So let me show you how...


No added oil or extra fat other than what the salami brings with it is necessary- as you can see from the sheen the spaghetti has in this picture it is just the right amount to make for a delicious and succulent meal that will not have you tipping the scales too much. Once again... less was more!


Whilst the water came up to the boil for my spaghetti, I sliced the salami as thinly as possible, cut the shallot into a fine dice, the thin, inner celery stalks into thin slices and the cherry tomatoes into halves. I plucked the leaves from the celery, popped the spaghetti into the water and got busy starting to cook all of the yummy ingredients I would use to flavor it with!

First off, the salami, shallot and celery stalks went into the frying pan. I let them sizzle away together until the shallot and celery became transparent and the salami began to crisp-up.


I then added the cherry tomatoes, a pinch of salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper.


I kept stir-frying them at a high temperature until the tomatoes began to brown and caramelize a little- just 3-4 minutes.

In the meantime, I took the spaghetti off the heat after 5-6 minutes of cooking, because yes, you guessed it- they were about to be added to the frying pan to finish cooking along with the other ingredients.


I added the spaghetti along with plenty of the water it had boiled in, as well as plenty of those tender, inner leaves from the celery. These added a great, rich flavor and balanced the seasoning of the dish wonderfully.

I continued stir-frying the pasta for a good 2-3 minutes, until almost all of the water had been absorbed.


I then added the freshly chopped parsley and gave the pasta a good toss/stir to get everything nicely and thoroughly mixed- and just 1-2 minutes later... supper was served!


Colorful... flavorful... wonderful! It's just as simple as that!


Time to grab a fork, twist up that spaghetti... and enjoy! Whether with grated cheese or not, (I did without this evening), this is simply tasty and good. And that is all that I need my food to be!

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