This pasta looks the business doesn’t it? Well it tastes amazing too. In actual fact, it’s super quick and easy to make, and cheap as chips too. All you have to do really is cook the pasta and stir in everything else.
As this is a simple dish you’re relying on the lemon, basil, parmesan and black pepper to give it a bold kick of flavour, so be generous with each of them. Purple basil tastes the exact same as normal basil, so don’t despair if you can’t get your hands on it, this will turn out the exact same with the regular stuff. Whip this up for a fancy looking but super simple supper after work during the week to put a pep in your step!
Ingredients (serves 2):
2tbsp Grated Parmesan
Zest of 2 Lemons
Basil (purple if you can find it!)
Salt & Pepper
Boil the pasta in salted water according to the packet instructions. I take mine off a minute or two early so that it’s al dente. Reserve a little of the cooking water.
Roughly chop your basil and set aside. I use a good bit, about a handful.
Stir in the ricotta, parmesan, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Have a taste and adjust with more salt, pepper or cheese if needed. You may need to loosen it out with a little of the cooking water or even some olive oil for a silky finish.
Top with more grated parmesan and black pepper and an artistic sprig of basil! Enjoy.
Last Friday I decided to be very good and make a home-made pizza from scratch! The dough and everything! It always seemed so difficult, but in fact it’s really easy. While you do have to leave the dough for an hour or so to rise, you can make a big batch and it will hold in the fridge for a few days. Alternatively you could freeze individual portions of the dough and defrost them when you need. Don’t let the long instructions put you off, it’s actually easy.
I decided to make mine whole wheat as I was being healthy (well.. kind of, a made this after a few mojitos), but if the thought of whole wheat pizza dough feels sacrilegious to you, just use plain white flour in the exact same way.
I decided to keep my topping simple, but it was really tasty. I made a light tomato sauce, added some Gubbeen Smokehouse Chorizo, Toonsbridge dairy mozzarella and basil. By now most people are aware of my obsession of all things from Gubbeen, especially their chorizo and smoked cheese, but not many people are aware of Toonsbridge Dairy. It’s an amazing dairy set up by the people who run The Real Olive Stall in The English Market, Cork. They basically imported a herd of buffalo and are making Irish mozzarella and ricotta and it’s the nicest mozzarella I have ever had! I think all our rain must make the grass really juicy and the milk really milky!
Of course you can just put whatever toppings you want on your pizza, but I recommend trying the pizza sauce.
Ingredients (makes two big pizzas):
For the dough base:
400g Whole-wheat flour
40g Plain Flour (for kneading)
1 tsp honey
1 tsp salt
10g active dry yeast
1 tbsp olive oil
350ml warm water
Handful chopped fresh basil
For the sauce:
Large handful cherry tomatoes
pinch black pepper
1/2 tsp honey
handful chopped fresh basil
1 ball Toonsbridge mozerlla
Chopped chorizo (allow about an index finger sized piece per person)
Fresh basil leaves
1. In a large bowl, mix the honey with warm water until melted and sprinkle yeast over the top. Let stand for about 15 minutes, until it’s foamy on top.
2. Stir the olive oil and salt into the water and then gradually add all your whole wheat flour until it starts to resemble a dough. At this point add in your fresh basil. Use the white flour to cover the surface you are using to form your pizza dough. Knead your dough on this until all of the flour has been absorbed, and the ball of dough becomes smooth. You can add more white dough if you need too. At this point you may begin to wonder why you bothered, but I promise it comes together very well.. just be patient!
3. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover loosely with a towel, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. I went for cocktails, came back 3 hours later and it was still perfect!
4. When the dough is doubled, place it back out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 2 pieces for two pizza bases. Form into a tight ball. Let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled.
5. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it will not stretch any further, you don’t want it too thick or it will be bready, make the bases thin. Place on a well oiled pizza pan. I advise letting it cook for about 5 minutes and then take it out and put on the toppings before putting back in to cook.
6. For the sauce, just blitz all the ingredients in a blender and pour on to the pizza base.
7. Lightly fry chorizo before putting it on the pizza, and chop up the mozzarella and sprinkle over the top. I poured the oil from the chorizo on top of the sauce for added flavour.
8. Put back in oven and let cook for about 15 minutes depending on thickness etc. Serve with the fresh basil on top.