This is an authentic Italian recipe and it’s vegan, but you can serve it with Pecorino cheese finely grated on top if you don’t do vegan, both ways are traditionally Italian. I love truffles on nearly everything, eggs, chips, risotto, pasta, mashed potato…the list is endless. I gave my friends Timna and Vicki my black truffle carbonara a couple of weeks ago and they are still talking about how sublime they think it is. However, I wanted I to do a vegan version too. I think it tastes fantastic, all truffley and garlicky. Its very Italian and it only takes about ten minutes to make, or as long as the spaghetti is cooking. Perfect for a dinner party, you can multiply the amounts or halve the quantities for a super tasty date night.
You can never have enough pasta in your life. When I was very young my father used to take me to a smart Italian restaurant in Chelsea called The Meridiana owned by his friend Enzo Apicella. Enzo sometimes sat with us while we ate and we would discuss our love of pasta. This is a simple recipe, which is incredibly delicious. It’s also called Aglio E Olio in Italian. There are a lot of versions of it, and you can customise it with whatever you have in the cupboard. It’s called midnight spaghetti because it’s a recipe used by tired, busy chefs after they come home late after long day at work. It’s also called ‘after the party’, so you get the drift…it’s quick, easy and very tasty, particularly after one too many drinks and you are ravenous. Check out midnight spaghetti 2 on here, if you fancy trying another version. It would also be a perfect for a vegetarian dinner party with a salad if you wanted to cook something that is economical and very doable.
This is my 100th recipe on the blog. I’m really proud and grateful, thank you for subscribing, and as Julia Child used to say Bon Appétit!
I have had the crab linguine lots of times at Polpo restaurant in Nottinghill Gate with my friend Emily, we always order it and we are obsessed with it as it’s so good. I really wanted the recipe, however it isn’t in their cookbooks or online, so I have had to guess what it is. It took me six attempts before I got it right, that’s a lot of linguine and I’m now booking in to a health farm so I can do my jeans up again, however it was worth it. I really think Polpo have nailed it, and I hope you think I have too. The beauty of it is it only takes about twelve minutes to make and you can keep the ingredients in the store cupboard. Perfect for a stress free dinner party or just dinner for two. Ralph has just cooked and tasted it and he thinks that it is so easy and beyond amazing and you should definitely try it and everyone that has cooked this recipe has said it’s the best crab linguine they have ever had. Give it a try…
Serves 2 (double or triple the quantities for more people).
200g of linguine or spaghetti
170g tin of crab meat (drained which becomes 100g) or 100g of fresh white and/or brown crab meat
½ teaspoon of finely chopped red chilli or a pinch of dried chilli flakes
8 cherry tomatoes halved
A sprig of parsley finely chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh grated Parmesan
1 small clove of garlic minced
2-3 tablespoons of butter
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
This spaghetti is rather glamorous and it’s what I imagine James Bond would knock up in two seconds if you went round for dinner chez 007. Yes truffles are a luxury, they are not called the diamonds of the kitchen for no reason, but you only need a small amount of them and they are perfect as an ingredient for a special occasion vegetarian supper or romantic dinner for two, and anyway, a bit of what you fancy does you good. One little jar of truffles goes a long way, mine were £9.50 for 50g from a supermarket, but I also found them for £7.30 in an Italian deli. Spaghetti is really inexpensive so it balances out. However, my friend Jenny makes this recipe with sautéed mushrooms instead, and that makes it really inexpensive. This recipe only takes about 10 minutes to make and is perfect for a date night or dinner party..and anyway there is nothing better than spaghetti….nothing.
My music suggestion is Parlami d’amore Mariù by Achille Togliani.
Serves 2-3 people.
100g freshly grated Parmesan
350g of spaghetti
2 cloves of minced garlic
2 tablespoons of truffle oil available in supermarkets and Italian delis (about £4.00 a bottle which lasts for ages)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
A sprig of parsley very finely chopped
Truffles (you can get a small jar in most supermarkets) or sautéed mushrooms if you prefer
Salt and pepper
I cooked this for a couple of vegetarian friends recently and they adored it. It’s got all the right tastes and textures and its dairy free.
This recipe was inspired by a roasted Mediterranean seafood platter I had at the Ivy restaurant in London once and which I still dream about. I thought it would be great with pasta, and it is.
1 pound of a mix of frozen prawns, scallops, calamari, langoustines (optional), thawed
1 cup of white wine
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 minced garlic cloves
small bunch of chopped basil
small bunch of chopped parsley
This is a really easy recipe, the ingredients can be bought a few days in advance and cooked within 20 minutes. Great for a dinner party. Adjust the quantities accordingly.
pre-cooked mussels in sauce (supermarket fish counter)
1 lemon, zested and sliced into wedges
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
half a cup of vermouth (optional)
1 garlic clove
bunch of basil
bunch of Parsley
salt and pepper