2 January 2013

Plate Up. Empoli Rigatoni

I’m a real carb fiend and I absolutely love pasta dishes. I think it’s the quarter Italian in me, and even though I never met my grandpa I think he rubbed off on me quite a bit. Here’s a delicious little Italian dish that is easy to whip-up and packed full of flavour. (Serves 4)

What you’ll need
500g rigatoni
40g parmesan cheese
100g whole blanched almonds
2 cloves garlic
1 fresh chilli
2 bunches fresh basil
2 tablespoons oil
500g mushrooms, sliced
400g shaved ham, thinly sliced

What to do
Cook the pasta in boiling water according to packet instructions.

Put the parmesan, almonds, garlic and chillies in a food processor and blend until fine. Add in basil, oil and two thirds of the cherry tomatoes. Blend until it forms a paste. Season with salt and pepper.

Lightly pan fry mushrooms.

Drain pasta, reserving a little of the starchy water. Return pasta to pot and add cooked mushrooms, reserved cherry tomatoes, ham, paste and a splash of the starchy water. Toss together and serve. Bellismo!

Photos by Krissie.