It was always a wonder to me that different shaped pasta can have such distinct taste (or rather texture which affects the taste and overall experience) even though they were all originally made of the same ingredients. It’s like noodles in China, there’s thin and thick and round and flat but there’s no where near as many varieties as pasta.
I remember there was an episode on Masterchef, I believe it was the 2012 season, where the contestants had to name the pasta. This to me was an impossible challenge since I could hardly name any of them, or at least I’d have no idea what the proper Italian names for them were.
After tasting many different pastas, my favourite is still spaghetti. I think it has the best chew and surface to coat the sauce.
I also find pastas one of the hardest dishes to style. No matter what I do (or Yuye does) the pasta just doesn’t look pretty on the plate. I’m not sure how people do it for magazines but I’ve tried and tried but with no success. If any of you have tips, please let me know!
Even though styling is an issue, I still love eating pasta. In fact we make it all the time at home, although the lack of styling makes me not want to put them on the blog. Today’s attempt was slightly more successful than others so I decided to share it with you all. It has a combination of tomato and cream which balances out the flavours very well.
Chicken, tomato and snow pea sprout pasta
• 200g roast or poached chicken (we used poached with seasoning as we had left over chicken)
• 2 medium vine ripened tomatoes, cut into wedges
• 10 pieces semi dried tomatoes
• 1 can whole peeled tomatoes in juice
• 100ml cream
• Handful snow pea sprouts
• Handful baby spinach leaves, roughly torn or chopped
• 250g dried pasta (I used spaghetti)
• 1 tbsp dried parsley
• 1 tbsp dried basil (or fresh if you have it)
• Salt & pepper to taste
• Grated cheese to serve
1. Heat a flat pan with olive oil to medium high and quickly fry the chicken with parsley and basil.
2. Add in fresh tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add in can of tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste and cook down for roughly 10 minutes.
3. In the mean time, heat a medium pot with water and a pinch of salt. Cook pasta in the pot until al dente (cook according to packet instructions). Drain and set aside when done.
4. When the sauce is slightly thickened, add in semi dried tomatoes and cook for a further 2 minutes.
5. Turn off the heat, stir through spinach and some snow pea sprouts, then stir through the cream. Mix well and add more salt and pepper to taste.
6. You can stir the pasta through the sauce like we did here, or you can just serve the pasta with the sauce on top, either way is fine.
7. Garnish pasta with more fresh snow pea sprouts and grated cheese.
Question time: What’s your favourite type of pasta? Do you prefer to eat tomato or cream based pastas?