Pasta “alla crudaiola”
It’s day 17 of lockdown here in Italy. So far, I have been able to keep myself busy thanks to my work, my MBA at the UoPeople, another course in statistics and R, and cooking (of course). Cooking is not the same as usual, though, because many ingredients are not available. I don’t know about you, but the way I handle food now is also different. I religiously seal and store all items carefully, and I avoid wasting anything.
This situation reminds me of my motivation when I have created this blog. I wanted to cook and create recipes, but not just any recipes; the purpose at that time was to cook or bake simple recipes with whatever was available at home.
Today I am preparing a very basic but tasty recipe you can prepare in less than ten minutes (really). The secret ingredient is carrot leaves – most people just throw them out, but properly prepared they are delicious. Enjoy.
Ingredients for two people
Pasta 200 g (I used thin tagliatelle)
Cherry tomatoes 15 (approximately) or a ripe and large tomato
Extra virgin olive oil 4 tbsp
Garlic half clove
Salt and pepper
Grated Parmigiano 3 tablespoons (or Grana Padano or Pecorino cheese)
Carrot leaves a small bunch (or rocket)
Asparagus 10 (or other vegetables such as zucchini, mushrooms, or eggplants)
Cream cheese 3 tablespoons (or others you have at home such as ricotta, cream cheese, Philadelphia, goat cheese).
Wash the asparagus thoroughly and separate the tips from the stem, discarding only the woody part, then cut into small pieces. Wash tomatoes and carrot leaves.
Bring the water to a boil and as soon as it starts to boil, add salt, then pour the lower part of the asparagus, after a minute add the tips. Let cook for two minutes and remove from the water with a strainer. Leave the water, which you will use to cook the pasta.
In the meantime, cut the tomatoes into small pieces and put them in a large bowl. Add the chopped garlic clove, asparagus, chopped carrot leaves, parmesan, salt, pepper and oil. Mix carefully.
Put 1 drop of oil and 2-3 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and add the cream cheese. Turn the heat off and mix well.
Now cook pasta in boiling water according to the cooking time indicated on the pasta package.
Drain the pasta, pour into the bowl with the vegetables, and mix gently.
Spread the previously prepared cheese mixture on two plates, then arrange the pasta on top. Serve and eat immediately.
If you like chillies, you can add some to the vegetables. Instead of tagliatelle, you can use linguine, spaghetti, or other pasta you like. You can omit the asparagus or other vegetables and simply use some rocket (no need to cook it). In case you use eggplants or zucchini, you can quickly cook them in a non-stick pan with a spoon of olive oil.
If you don’t have carrots leaves at home, you can use parsley, fresh basil, chives, or other herbs as you like.