The older I get, the more simply I like to eat and the more I appreciate uncomplicated things.
Depending on the occasion and the mood I am in, anything goes as long as it is easy + delicious.
I find dessert is always appreciated, bit it doesn’t have to be rich or difficult make.
Here’s suggestion for an appealing, uncomplicated Valentine’s day supper which can be made with the minimum of fuss.
Linguine with clams & tomatoes
Passion fruit pudding
Here’s what you need:
For the linguine
200g linguine (I like de Cecco)
30ml olive oil
2 garlic cloves, green shoot removed + very finely chopped
1 small red chilli, very finely chopped or 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
500g clams, cleaned
65ml white wine
250g cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
1.5 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley
freshly ground black pepper
For the pudding
10g unsalted butter
65g caster sugar
20g plain flour
pulp of 3 passion fruits
1 egg, separated
This is what you do:
1. To get the clams to spit out any grit they may have hidden in their shells, put them in a bowl of cold water with some oats or polenta for 10 minutes; wash, rinse + drain the clams.
2. Cook the linguine in a large sauce pan of rapidly boiling water, according to packet instructions, until al dente.
3. Whilst the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
4. Add the chilli, garlic and seasalt and fry very gently for 1 minute.
5. Add the clams, white wine and tomatoes; cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes or until the clams open.
6. Remove from the heat.
7. Drain the pasta and add to the frying pan with the parsley. Gently toss to combine, then season with pepper + salt to taste.
On to the pudding…
1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Beat the butter + sugar in a bowl until well combined.
3. Add the flour, passion fruit, milk and egg yolk and mix to combine.
4. Whisk the egg white in a clean bowl until stiff peaks form.
5. With a large metal spoon, gently fold the egg white through the mixture.
6. Pour into 2 greased oven proof ramekins and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the top is golden and puffed.
7. Serve immediately as the puddings deflate very quickly!