Sometimes, even the keenest cook simply doesn’t want to cook anything. Get home after a long day’s work, flop down on the sofa, and you’re unlikely to want to start searing chunks of meat, fine-chopping vegetables for a soffrito and whipping up an aioli. So what are the alternatives? Takeaway? Leftovers? M&S Microwave thing? They’re all fine (except possibly the last) but the idea of being able to throw together a real, enjoyable, satisfying plate of food in the time it takes to boil a pan of pasta is a very appealing idea to me. And that’s exactly what this is. What’s more, it only has four ingredients, a couple of which you’re more than likely to have lying around anyway, and what is more, it being almost christmas, it’s the perfect thing to use any up ageing lumps of stilton sitting around post-christmas dinner.
The recipe is rather shamelessly based on one I used to make very often when I was younger from Nigel Slater’s fantastic Real Fast Food but, having googled around a bit, I think it’s general enough an idea for me not to feel to plagaristically guilty.
If you have any parsley, spinach or possibly even watercress knocking around, feel free to finely shred it and stir it in before serving but really, especially with the whole idea of this being to save time and energy, it’s not necessary.
You will need:
- Tagliatelle or other ribbon pasta like Pappardelle or Fettuccini (or actually anything you have), 80g per person
- Unsalted butter at room temperature, 25g per person
- Gorgonzola or any other blue cheese, 25g per person
- Walnuts, a small handful per person
Boil a large pan of salted water, and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.
Whilst the pasta is boiling, whisk together the butter and cheese well, taste, and add a good grind of pepper, and salt if needed (depending on the cheese you use, it may already be quite salty.)
When the pasta’s cooked, drain it well, spoon in the cheese butter and throw in the walnuts, perhaps lightly breaking them up by hand, then toss til the pasta is evenly coated.
Serve in warm bowls, and drizzle with a small amount of the best olive oil you have. It needs nothing more than a simple green salad by way of an accompaniment.
So there. Under ten minutes’ cooking, and a meal good enough to come back to again and again. No excuses!