I love italian food, period! But the fact that pastas are full of maida and just not healthy, also the fact that iam particularly fond of the cream based sauces makes it worse for me. Not having such food doesn't solve the purpose for me, but to look for more so called healthier options, and in turn i end up trying many more options, what better. I have this fetish for cookbooks, there was a time when i couldn't cross a bookstore without entering it and then buying a book or two, then came the online era when i couldn't stop ordering one of my favorites every week, luckily that phase didn't last too long, but am sure it will bounce back soon. So once of those early spurts, i bought this book on 75 Classic pasta sauces and then completely forgot about it.
Yeah that too happens with me often, i buy a book and then forget about it, love watching it adorn one of my many bookshelves and never pull it out :D. Not until recently though, recently i have had beautiful experiences with a few of my treasured possessions, like my rose levy books, or the bread bakers apprentice, and likes which give u so much of knowledge alongside the recipes that i have started reading my books more often. One of these days i wanted to finally pick up the pasta sauces book and see if i can find some pasta basics or some fun secrets about pasta cooking listed there, and i was happy and engrossed into the book for really long. I learnt the names of many pastas i never knew before, and made a note to myself that for the so called italian fan that i am , i have never had fusilli col buco, or a tortellini or never seen a curly lasagne.
Then there were short but very interesting write-ups describing the herbs used in sauces and hat should they be paired with, and also about basic pasta ingredients.
FThat is when i learnt about the special herb chopper called mezalluna, i had seen it but never knew the name. Another note to myself, i need to buy a mezalluna, the nigella style. And that is where i learnt, that coriander is also used as a herb in pasta sauces. For me it was always a basil pesto, or a parsley or dill. Iam a onion and coriander junkie , my food never has had any dearth of these two. So i had to go looking for a recipe using coriander a a sauce. So one of the sauces listed in the book was a coriander and hazelnut sauce.
For a long time i have totally replaced the plain flour pasta at home with the waitrose Wholewheat pastas, eventough i know they are made with a combination of wholemeal and plain flour, what i like about them is they are firmer in texture and have more fibre and i love the taste too. The recipe was for some macaroni with a coriander and hazelnut sauce, but i had some spaghetti handy so i went ahead with spaghetti. Also there were some more basics about whack pasta should be paired with which kind of sauces, and it did fit those rules. IT turned out to be an aromatic, light and a very new perspective to sauces to me.
Spaghetti with coriander and hazelnut sauce
Serves : 4
Preparation time : 20 mins
Cooking time : 10 mins
350 gm wholewheat Spaghetti
1/3 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
7-8 garlic cloves
1 bunch fresh coriander, cleaned and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tsp -2 tsp salt to taste
1 onion coarsely chopped
6 tbsp olive oil
Fresh coriander sprigs for garnish
1. Cook the pasta following the instructions on the packet, until al dente.
2. Meanwhile add all the ingredients except 3 tbsp of oil in a grinder and grind them to make the sauce. I prefer frying the onions and garlic before this process, but one can skip it, infect the onion was my addition, the recipe didn't ask for onions.
3. Heat the remaining oil in a large pan, and add the sauce to it, and fry very gently until thoroughly heated.
4. Drain the spaghetti thoroughly and stir it into the sauce, toss well to coat.
5. Serve immediately, garnished with fresh coriander.
Add a dash of butter to it to add that flavor, and the husband felt that a little tomato puree wouldn't hurt either, but i didn't need any of it. I loved it exactly the way it was prepared. Infact i saved some for my next day lunch.
Currently reading this awesome book gifted to me by Ruchira of the Great cookaroo