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Heather Hurley's Pasta part 1

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Delicious anytime and quick to make

Heather Hurley brings us two recipes for simple but delicious meals. In the first one she introduces us to her speedy pasta called Mushroom medley Pasta. It is suitable for vegetarians.
Serves 4
Preparation 5 mins Cooking 10 minutes.
What you will need:
350 grms Tagliatelle
40 grms butter
A small onion, halved and sliced
25 grms pine nuts
100 grms sliced oyster mushrooms
100 grms sliced Shitake mushrooms
75 grms sliced brown capped mushrooms
50 grms sundried tomatoes
1 teaspoon lemon juice
tablespoon freshly chopped basil

Method:
Cook the lightly salted pasta in boiling water for 8-10 minutes until it is al dente. While that is cooking, melt the butter in a frying pan, fry the onion for 3-4 minutes until it softens. Add pine nuts and cook for another minute or so until they are golden. Add in all the mushrooms and fry for another 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. Drain the pasta then return it to the pan, add in the mushroom mixture and mix it together. Season and serve. Add grated parmesan if required at the table. Serve with fresh salad.

Her second recipe is for Greek Pasta salad. This goes well with lamb chops or a lamb barbecue when the sun comes out.

Serves 4. Preparation time 5 minutes. Cooking time 10 minutes.

You will need:
200 grms small spiral pasta
175 grms pitted black olives
100 grms cherry tomatoes halved
100 grms feta cheese crumbled
small Kos lettuce shredded

For the dressing:
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon pesto

Method;
Cook the pasta as before in salted water until al dente. Drain, rinse in cold water and then drain again. Put into salad bowl with the remaining ingredients. Mix well and then put the dressing ingredients into a screw top jar or mixer and blend well. Pour over the salad and give it a good toss just before serving.

Heather tells us that one of her favourites is pasta with pesto. Here is a simple and quick recipe if you'd like to make your own pesto.

You will need a food processor or liquidiser to save your arms!
This recipe will make 450 mls of pesto and will take 5 minutes to prepare.
You will need:
50 grms fresh basil leaves
5 cloves of garlic
25 grms pine nuts
100 grms parmesan cheese grated
175 mls olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Method:
Put basil leaves in a food processor with garlic and pine nuts. Cutting garlic in halves does make a smoother mix. Add the cheese and 3 tablespoons of olive oil then the salt and freshly ground black pepper. Blend until it begins to form a smooth puree. Add the remaining olive oil a little at a time until it is all mixed in. Give the mix a good pulse through. Any that you are not going to use straight away can be put in a screw-top jar and kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

To serve the pesto in a different way try: For each person have a chicken breast, a thick slice of mozzarella cheese and some pancetta ham. Slice a pocket into the chicken and put in the mozzarella a teaspoon of your pesto and wrap in the pancetta ham. Put them into an oven dish and drizzle with a little olive oil. Place in a medium oven for 20-25 minutes. For the last 8-10 minutes of the cooking time add in your pasta and sprinkle around some     cherry tomatoes. Serve with a green salad.
The pesto could also be used as a salad dressing.
Heather and Peter discuss the merits of different olive oils so have a listen and see if you agree.

To make contact with Heather please visit her website for the new UK restaurant at: www.carpentersarmsgastropub.co.uk

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Pasta picture courtesy of lemonandlace.com

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