You've been waiting for the sequel, we've been waiting for the sequel — everyone's been waiting for London-based chef Yotam Ottolenghi's follow-up to his smash hit cookbook Plenty. The wait is over: Plenty More is on the shelves. Get to know the vegetarian dishes you love on a more intimate level and add a few to your repertoire. Meat-free food simply doesn't get better than this.
When this recipe was first published in the Guardian, it sparked a short discussion between two readers about the ideal quantity of pasta in a single portion. This debate demonstrates a point we always discuss at length in my test kitchen: how many people does this recipe serve? This question is almost as redundant as "how long is a piece of string?" yet all food writers engage in it seriously every time we write a recipe, because that's the convention: a good recipe must indicate the number of servings.
When I mentioned in my article that a main course should have 3 1/2 to 5 ounces of dried pasta per person, one reader accused me of greediness — though not in so many words — and claimed 2 1/2 ounces is absolutely enough, while another justified my estimate. If I am totally honest, I can eat anywhere between 3 1/2 and 10 1/2 ounces of pasta, depending on how hungry I am and, more important, how delicious it is. I am sure this applies to most people.
This is why I would like to suggest a new system of portion indication, which will take these two factors into consideration. So a recipe may "serve two people with a medium level of hunger but who are absolutely in love with white truffles," or "serve a single diner with a massive appetite but only when expertly prepared," or "will satisfy ten little stomachs when the cook is pressed for time." I think my system will illuminate the subject and both prevent food going to waste and people going hungry.
On a more serious note, this recipe is pretty simple and quick to prepare yet delivers an unexpected richness of flavors. Make sure you use fresh walnuts, without any bitterness in them.
- 2/3 cup walnuts, roughly broken up
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup sage leaves, finely shredded
- grated zest of 1 medium lemon
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 10 1/2 ounces tagliatelle or tagliolini
- 1 3/4 cups parmesan, shaved
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- salt and black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Spread out the walnuts on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
- Place a sauté pan over high heat and add the butter.
- Cook for 1 minute, add the sage and fry for about 2 minutes, until the butter starts to brown.
- Add the lemon zest, cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and plenty of black pepper and stir and cook for just a few seconds to thicken the sauce a little.
- Remove from the heat at once so the cream doesn't separate. Set aside until ready to use.
- Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil and add the pasta.
- Cook for 8 minutes, or according to the package instructions, until al dente.
- Drain, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid, and place in a large bowl.
- Warm the sauce, adding some cooking liquid if it has become very thick, then add it to the pasta along with the walnuts, Parmesan and parsley.
- Toss the mix, stir in the lemon juice and serve at once.
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