Pasta is a wonderful go-to in the Winter months when you get home cold and tired (and, if you live in Vancouver, almost certainly dripping wet) but many people forget that it can be very much a summer treat as well.
While it’s not quite summer yet, we have had a rash of really good weather recently so this week I dove head first in to ‘Summer Cooking Mode.’
(I realize it will be a good 2-3 months before my garden bounty is actually ready for harvest but I made do with my wee basil leaves. Hopefully the newly planted herbs won’t mind too much that I snipped a couple of their little leaves.)
The combination of flavours in this recipe makes me smile- sweet mango, fragrant fresh basil, lovely charred peppers, salty parmesan, some toasty pinenuts… it just makes you want to sit outside with a chilled glass of wine and a big plate of pasta, overlooking some rolling hills.
No? Just me? Sometimes I like to dream about living on a vineyard somewhere living la vie en rose and cooking all day. I could have chickens for eggs and a few goats roaming around (for cheese and also because goats are adorable). I could plants all my own veg and herbs and live off the land and do canning and make preserves and wear flowy dresses that would hide my ever-expanding bum!
Well, you get the idea. For now, I’m pretty darn happy enjoying this big bowl of delicious in my little yard after a full days work drawing corporate pictures in an industrially lit cubicle all day. I mean, at least I now have a little yard- and it makes me sooooo happy, that little yard. Life is good, especially when you’re eating mangoes in the sunshine.
Typically, I include chicken in this recipe but I imagine it would be just as delicious omitted if you are vegetarian or trying to cut costs.
|Spaghetti with Mango, Roasted Peppers and Basil|| |
- 1 mango, chopped
- 1 chicken breast, chopped (optional)
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 roasted red pepper, sliced into strips
- 1 bunch fresh basil, sliced into ribbons
- ¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
- ¼ tsp chili flakes
- 1.5 cups Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
- 2 egg yolks
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 lb. pasta- we like linguini or spaghetti
- Start bringing some well-salted pasta water to a boil.
- In a small frying pan, gently toast the pine nuts over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Once they start to brown they will brown quickly so watch them closely and remove them from the heat when you reach the desired colour. Set toasted pinenuts aside in a small bowl.
- In the same frying pan, cook the garlic and chicken (if using) in a touch of olive oil until cooked through (if you are not adding chicken remove garlic from heat when it is fragrant but not browned and set aside). Season chicken with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Chop mango and red peppers and set aside. You will now have a handy mise en place of toasted pine nuts, cooked chicken, mango and roasted peppers.
- In a bowl mix egg yolks, 1 cup of the grated Parmesan, salt and pepper.
- Cook pasta to al dente and drain, reserving some extra cooking water.
- While the noodles are still piping hot, toss the pasta with the egg yolk and parmesan mixture until all the noodles are lightly coated then immediately stir in the chicken/garlic, mango, roasted peppers and chili flakes. Add some of the reserve cooking liquid at this point if it looks a bit dry and toss well.
- Add fresh basil, pinenuts and top with reserve grated parmesan. Serve immediately.