Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs

Fresh egg linguine with Pecorino Romano

Posted on: Friday 20 May 2011

I have a deep love for pasta. My family went on a European holiday when I was nine which included travelling to Rome, Florence and Venice. While I have clear memories of the grandeur and beauty of the cities, all I remember eating was pizza and gelato! Pasta is one of the first dishes I cooked by myself in the kitchen. We cook pasta at home every week and I would often chose the pasta main at restaurants. It is a forgiving partner – you can experiment with the sauce and if it requires tweaking, pasta cooked al dente will conceal the minor flaws (like a split white sauce). It pairs equally well with a slow cooked ragú as it does with a what’s-in-the-pantry-for-a-weeknight-dinner approach.

We discovered Cucina Fresca on AmazonFresh and our local Whole Foods also stocks it. They’re a Seattle company with origins at the Pike Place Market. We’ve tried their linguine, fettucine, pappardelle and wild mushroom ravioli and they’re all bellissimo!

Defining this as a recipe is questionable but it really highlights the quality of the fresh egg pasta. This is usually what I make when cooking for one. It’s ready in ten minutes – put the kettle on, pour the hot water into a small pot, grate cheese while bringing to boil, cook and drain pasta, add cracked pepper and a splash of oil, toss with tongs to coat and serve with grated cheese. If you’re fast at grating cheese, use the time to roughly chop two slices of prosciutto and hand tear a bunch of basil leaves. And if you don’t mind washing a saucepan, sauté some finely diced eschalot and garlic for extra flavour.

The fresh egg pasta is the star of the show. The olive oil glistens on the ribbons and it’s toothsome and peppery. The sharp and pungent Pecorino Romano provides textural contrast to the smooth and silky linguine. Nutritionally it’s devoid of vegetables but that can be remedied with a side salad. As an aside, I learned how to plate long length pasta from watching a Donna Hay Masterclass segment on MasterChef Australia. It’s a deceptively simple technique from the food stylist extraordinaire – use tongs and spin the plate or bowl slowly as you lower the strands of pasta to form a mound.

Recipe – fresh egg linguine with Pecorino Romano

Ingredients

1 serving of fresh egg pasta (I prefer long length such as linguine or fettucine)

1/3 cup hard Italian cheese, grated (I used Pecorino Romano but can be substituted with Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano)

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Cracked pepper

Method

1. Bring small pot of water to boil.

2. While waiting for water to boil, grate cheese.

3. Cook and drain pasta. Add cracked pepper and olive oil, toss gently with tongs to coat. Serve with grated cheese.

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