Monday, 14 April 2008

Day Eleven-Warm, sea beet, crab and wild garlic pasta salad-Cornwall

This is a warming heavy pasta salad that combines the taste of the seaside and with the comfort of warm pasta. A great chilly spring time dish to share with friends over a glass of cold crisp white wine or local golden ale such as Tribute a St Austell beer. To serve 4 of your most deserving mates:

· 300g good pasta
· 2 large handfuls of seabeet (mine was collected from Polperro)
· 1 large edible crab
· ½ dozen free range local eggs
· 3 heaped tablespoons capers
· 1 handful of wild garlic- flowers included.
· Large pinch of sea salt
· 20 black peppercorns –crushed
· Good olive oil

“Al dente” pasta is what you need for this dish so that the ingredients can be tossed together without forming a solid lump at the bottom of your serving bowl. The secret to perfect al dente pasta is that for every 100 grams of dry pasta you need 1 litre of water (preferably not hard water).Boil the water slowly. Add about 10g of salt pour in the pasta and turn up the heat so that you get a rolling boil. Stir with a wooden utensil and let the pasta cook for the recommended time (usually on the packet). Test the pasta if you are not sure by trying a bit. It should resist a little when you bite it. When ready add a cup of cold water and drain then toss in olive oil to stop it sticking to its self.

Cook the pasta and hard boil the eggs-I know some people who do this in the same saucepan. Drain the pasta and pop it into a large serving bowl. While the pasta is cooking rinse your seabeet and place in a small covered saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water and a knob of butter for about 3-4 minutes. Finely chop up the wild garlic. You may want to put the edible flowers to one side to decorate the dish just before serving. Take the shells off and chop the hardboiled eggs into quarters. Scoop out the crab meat from the shell, the claws and the large legs if you are really dedicated. Combine the eggs, sea beet-including the buttery juices from the pan, Capers,the wild garlic and finally add the crab meat to the pasta. Season with crushed black pepper and sea salt and decorate with wild garlic flowers. Allow your friends to serve themselves straight from the bowl. Then sit down pour a large glass of wine and allow yourself to be congratulated. Easy peasy.

1 comment:

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