Our guest writer Jessie (aka mscooksalot) has loved cooking and exploring recipes for as long as she can remember. Passionate about real food, she wants to know what’s in it and where it comes from. She believes that food is one of the greatest pleasures in life and can transform your experiences from the forgettable to the sublime.
This is a wonder recipe for a quick dinner for one!
Now that spring had finally sprung and we’ve been blessed with amazing weather, the last thing we want is to spend hours in the kitchen making dinner! Let’s face it, we want to make the most of this weather while it lasts.
So what better than a speedy little pasta dish that you can knock out in about 20 minutes, start to finish? All you’ll need is a handful of ingredients, a large heavy-bottomed pan to make the sauce, another for the pasta and barely any prep time. It couldn’t be any simpler! It’s my go to recipe when I get home late – for example after a yoga class when I’m absolutely starving and need to eat asap.
Once you’ve boiled the kettle, thrown the pasta in to cook, and got the pancetta browning, you’re on the home stretch! I like using tagliatelle or pappardelle, but you could also use spaghetti or linguine, the choice is yours.
- Serves 1
80 – 100g egg tagliatelle
tablespoon fine sea salt
2 tsp olive oil (regular not extra virgin)
70g diced smoked pancetta (or good quality smoky bacon lardons)
1 small clove of garlic
100g baby spinach
60ml double cream
60ml white wine
freshly ground black pepper to taste
20g parmesan, plus extra for serving
In a large pot, bring 1.5 litres of water to the boil, then add your salt. This might seem like too much salt, but trust me. If you make sure that your pasta water is salty enough, then you don’t need any oil in the water. Plus it’s the only time that you can season the pasta itself, so don’t be scared to add that much salt. You’re not actually going to eat it all, but it will make a difference to the flavour of the finished dish.
Drop your pasta in and give it a stir. Follow the cooking times on the packet. Mine took about 8 minutes but it will vary depending on the shape that you’re using.
Meanwhile, in a large heavy-bottomed pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Fry the pancetta until crispy.
Smash the garlic clove carefully with the flat side of your knife. This will break open the skin and makes it easier to peel off. Slice the garlic finely.
Grate the parmesan so you’ll have it ready when needed.
Add the spinach to the pan, along with the garlic. As the spinach begins to wilt, pour in the white wine and let it bubble up, then let it reduce for about a minute.
Add the cream and the grated parmesan, along with as much black pepper as you like (I like plenty).
You should now have a lovely creamy sauce ready to coat the pasta. Take it off the heat if your pasta is not quite ready by now. Otherwise proceed with the pan still on the heat.
Drain the pasta (or pull it out with a pasta claw if you have one) and drop it into the sauce.
Make sure not to let the cooked pasta dry out too much, as you want some of the starchy cooking water to help loosen your sauce.
Toss quickly to coat the pasta evenly.
Serve immediately with some more grated parmesan sprinkled on top and another grinding of black pepper.
And most importantly, enjoy!
Are you tempted to try out this recipe? Do you have any easy-peasy recipes that never fail to impress? We’d love to hear all about them!
If you’d like to read more from Jessie, you can check out her blog here!