Our private name for Spaghetti Aglio e Olio has always been quick pasta or Schnelle Nudeln to be precise, obviously in reference to the short preparation time and minimum effort required.
Here’s another lovely quick pasta dish, with the added bonus of increased capacity for using-up leftover vegetable:
Fettuccine with Sage Butter, Nuts and Stuff
I start with a small amount of vegetables. I happen to have half a bulb of fennel and half a small squash in the fridge, on another day some Swiss chard or cauliflower might do the trick or perhaps thin stripes of Savoy cabbage or Italian Cavolo Nego will join the party.
Bring a pot of pasta cooking water to the boil.
Meanwhile, toast a handful of nuts in a non-sticking frying pan. We had pistachio nuts and pumpkin seeds, but walnuts or Macadamia would also be great. Salt slightly and set the nuts aside but keep the pan.
Dice the veg and using the same pan to caramelise lightly in a little bit of butter except when using cauliflower.
When using cauliflower, cut into small chunks such that each has a flat side, and dry-roast in the same pan at moderate heat. When using cabbage greens such as stripes of Savoy cabbage or Cavolo Nero, stir-fry dry for two minutes, then for another 30 seconds with added butter.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, then set aside.
Add a teaspoon of salt and 250 g of good quality egg Fettuccine to the boiling pasta water, reduce the heat and stir gently once the dry pasta begins to soften up to avoid lumps.
Clean, dry and chop a large handful of fresh sage leaves into very fine bits. Melt 75 g of butter until it begins to foam, then add the sage and stir occasionally for a minute.
Drain the pasta and dress with the nuts, vegetables and sage butter.
I added little pieces of blue cheese but I suppose the addition of cheese is optional.
Quick and easy.