My love of Italian food is well documented on this blog. As a family we holiday in Tuscany regularly and my mum and step-dad love it so much, they are planning to retire there in a few years time. I love the simplicity of good, real Italian food – sometimes if feels like literally two or three ingredients can come together to form the most perfect meal.
We probably eat pasta at least once a week at home. I have to admit though, when we’re busy I tend to rely on well known recipes such as pasta all puttanesca, penne with bacon and mushrooms and spaghetti bolognese and now I think about it, most of the pasta we eat has a tomato base.
This recipe, by Gennaro Contaldo, is a refreshing addition to my list of quick and easy pasta dishes. With just 5 ingredients it’s perfect for a light midweek meal. I really love Gennaro – he’s one of the reasons I rate Jamie’s Italian so much higher than most high street chains, his work behind the scenes includes training on site and menu development. I also loved him in ‘The Greedy Italians’ with Antonio Carluccio. No only was the programme very entertaining, it was clear that he’s not only passionate about Italian food but also a great chef!
Italian brand Bertolli has long been my choice when it comes to spread – we use the bertolli with olive oil. However, before now, I hadn’t actually tried their ‘Bertolli with butter’. It’s luxurious creaminess was perfect for this simple but delicious dish and now I’ve tried it, I can’t wait to bake some cakes with it because I just know it’ll work perfectly.
The original recipe can be viewed on the Bertolli website but for ease, here it is again: Ingredients (serves four)
- 350 g farfalle pasta
- 50 g Bertolli with Butter + extra knob
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 40 g pancetta, finely chopped (optional)
- 250 g frozen peas
- several mint leaves
- 20 g Bertolli with Butter + extra knob
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil.
- Add the farfalle pasta and cook for around 10 minutes or until “al dente.” Gennaro’s tip: use lightly salted water to cook pasta in.
- Meanwhile, heat Bertolli with Butter in a large frying pan, adding onion and pancetta. Cook on a medium heat until the onion has softened.
- Stir in the peas and mint and some salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and cook on a gentle heat for about 3 minutes until the peas are cooked.
- Drain the farfalle, then add it to the sauce with a little pasta water, parmesan, and a knob of Bertolli with Butter.
- Make sure to mix well. Serve immediately with an extra sprinkling of parmesan if desired (and in my case, a cold glass of something alcomofrolic!)
Because we’re being healthy we skipped the parmesan. Actually, this dish was refreshingly light and I don’t think it needed the cheese. The butter, onions and splash of pasta water were enough to create a light, tasty coating for the farfalle.
*This is a sponsored post – I worked with Bertolli to recreate this recipe. Visit their website to see this one and more. However, all opinions are my own as always*