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BABY TOMATO, CAPERS & RICOTTA LINGUINE

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As we’re all trying to ease back into some form of normalcy – or the new abnormal – we have less time for “complicated”. To be honest, the simpler I can keep mealtimes these days, the better, and I’m finding a light yet nourishing vegetable pasta dish really does the trick. What I also love about a dish like this is that you can really do it with whatever you’ve got in your cupboard or fridge. You might just need to pop out for a couple of missing staples, but really, anything goes.

INGREDIENTS

·       15 ml olive oil

·       1 small garlic bulb, cloves peeled and sliced

·       1 medium shallot, chopped

·       2 finely chopped red chili’s

·       1 sprig of thyme

·       15 ml (a heaped tablespoon) salt

·       500 g mixed baby tomatoes

·       45 ml capers, chopped

·       150 ml white wine

·       10 ml butter

·       30 g fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

·       30 g flat leave parsley, chopped

·       100 g Ricotta cheese

·       500 g linguine

·       freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

Fill a large saucepan with water and add a big tablespoonful of salt. Place it on the heat and bring to a boil.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic, shallot, chilies and thyme. Sauté until slightly golden and season with salt.

Add tomatoes and capers, and cook on a high heat for 8 minutes before deglazing the pan with white wine.

Make sure to cook out all of the alcohol by reducing the liquid by ¾. Once reduced, add the butter and mix thoroughly. Take the pan off the heat and cook the linguine.

Once the pot of water is at a rolling boil, add the linguine. Many people will add oil to the water, but resist the urge… firstly, water and oil do not mix so it doesn’t make any sense, and even if it did make sense, the sauce wouldn’t stick to the pasta.

Boil the pasta for roughly 7 – 8 minutes. Using a large tong, transfer directly into the pan with the sauce. Be sure to get some of the pasta water into the sauce – not too much, but just a little bit will help to emulsify the sauce.

Stir the pan well over a high heat, making sure nothing burns.

Finally, remove from the heat and garnish generously with basil and parsley, and serve with a few large dollops of fresh Ricotta. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

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