Cold, still dark evenings are just the time for warm, creamy pasta dishes. One by one, every mouthful fills your body with warmness, wrapping around you like a cosy blanket. Yes, the first feeling is the one of warmth, then comes comfort and relaxation and only then, feeling completely at ease, I can savour all the different ingredients that come together in my pasta dinner.
For a long time, I thought that pasta dishes, by default, must be full of fat, calories and generally could not be considered as part of a truly healthy diet, not so much because of the pasta, but because of everything else that goes with it. Then I discovered some authentic Italian pasta recipes and found out that: 1. you donâ€™t need many ingredients to make a delightful pasta dish, quite the opposite, often the simpler the better. 2. It can take just as long to make the pasta dinner as it takes to cook the pasta, you can have something yummy ready in literally a few minutes. 3. Even the most scrumptious creamy pasta recipes donâ€™t need to be unhealthy or calories-heavy. If you follow the Italian way of making pasta dishes, youâ€™ll notice that the quantities of ingredients added, especially the ones like cheese or cream, are actually quite small. Itâ€™s the richness of taste of each of the ingredients that does the trick. Make sure you appreciate every single mouthful without rush rather than trying to swallow it all in one go. Italian pasta requires Italian approach, and thatâ€™s all about taking life and all things that life brings in an unhurried, leisurely way.
Today on the blog tagiatelle pasta with homemade pesto of watercress and walnuts and flavoursome vegetarian parmesan cheese. Meets all the criteria of a delicious Italian pasta for me.
300g tagliatelle pasta
1 garlic clove
40g vegetarian parmesan cheese, half grated, half shaved
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
50g mascarpone cheese
Toast the walnuts in a dry pan for a few minutes.
In a large pan bring salted water with a few drops of olive oil to boil. Cook tagliatelle for about 3-5 minutes until tender. Drain, reserving a cup of the cooking water.
Put the watercress and garlic in a food processor and blend for a short while until finely chopped. Add half of the toasted walnuts, grated parmesan, lemon juice, sugar and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Blend until pesto becomes smooth.
Put the drained pasta in the pan over a low heat. Add the pesto and mascarpone. You can add a splash of water from the pasta if the sauce is too thick and dry. Stir well.
Serve warm topped with the parmesan shavings and remaining toasted walnuts.