Friday, 16 August 2013

Penne Marco Polo Mio

NAME: _Penne Marco Polo Mio

INGREDIENTS/UTENSILS:
300g penne or similar
salt to boil
150g section of strassburg or gypsy ham
1 medium brown onion
2 - 3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup basil leaves or 1/3 cup dried basil
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes in oil
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup black dry salted olives
1/2 cup fine grated parmesan or romano
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
a pinch ground cinnamon

METHOD:
Toast the pine nuts in a heavy frypan until golden to brown. Transfer to temporary bowl, set aside. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan and return to low heat.

Put on enough salted water to boil the pasta in, (I generally drop the pasta in at the same time, it really doesn't make much difference, believe me.)

Chop the onion around 5mm chunks, add to pan, stir. Square up the Strassburg or ham section, cut into straws about 2mm - 3mm thick and 3cm - 5cm long. Add to pan and stir. Finely chop the garlic, add to pan and stir. Add half the basil, chilli, pepper, and cinnamon. Chop the sundried tomato into 5mm wide strips.

Check the pasta and stir to separate. Increase heat under frypan and stir in the broccoli. Continue to stir regularly until broccoli has turned deep green, add the olives, sundried tomato, and remaining basil, turn off heat and set aside.

As soon as pasta is just soft enough to eat, drain and quickly rinse, then return to pot and place back on medium heat. Stir in the fried mix and toasted pine nuts, add remaining olive oil and mix that in, then stir in the grated cheese and serve immediately.

SERVING:
Can be served as above, or toss a handful of washed spinach leaves through and then serve.

NOTES:
Pasta Marco Polo isn't precisely what this dish is, but it's close. Putanesca isn't precisely what this dish is, but it's close. Also feel free to substitute ham or any other such charcuterie meats for an experiment. Use strips of red capsicum or zucchini. The important thing is not to overpower the basil/cheese/oil/garlic combination too much. Mine was an "opportunistic" meal, made with what was to hand. Go wild!

ENJOY!

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