Before I start rabbiting on, I just want to start by saying that I love this recipe. LOVE it. It’s so delicious and so easy! (I pretty much ate that entire platter all on my own. I’ll obviously make it again later for Pete…)
So, the reason for this post. Well, yes, you guessed it, it’s for Valentines day. I’m not a big V-day lover I have to say, I like the sentiment, telling people you love them, but do I need a set date to do that? Unfortunately it just feels like another way to get us to spend money. Boo. But we’re not total cynics, Pete and I. We’ll always make each other something, usually a card and a meal. Ok, cooking is something we do almost everyday anyway, but we do try make it a bit more special and imaginative. And this year I have been inspired by that classic Disney love story ‘Lady and the Tramp’. I’m making a platter of meatball spaghetti for 2. Whats more romantic than sharing a plate of food?! (Unless you’re one of those people that doesn’t like sharing food? In that case feel free to plate it up on separate plates of course).
However instead of going classic Italiano meatballs with tomato sauce, I thought I’d try something a little different, and boy I’m glad I did. I found a big ol’ bunch of sorrel today at the market and decided to play with making a sorrel pesto. It’s incredibly delicious, so delicate and light, and works perfectly with little sausage meatballs. Oh and it takes no time at all. You could have the whole thing done, from start to finish in less than 15 minutes. Which, lets be honest, is what you want when you’re trying to be all romantic. Less time in the kitchen = more time with your loved one.
SORREL AND SAUSAGE SPAGHETTI
A friend just asked me on instagram if it was possible to make this without sorrel/ using a substitute. If you can’t find sorrel then try using rocket or baby spinach, but add the juice of half a lemon to replicate that lovely tartness you get in sorrel.
- 3 good quality sausages (I used pork and leek which worked very well)
- 160g spaghetti
- 60g sorrel, washed and trimmed
- 40g pine nuts
- 1 small clove of garlic, peeled
- A few sprigs of basil or flat leaf parsley, leaves picked
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 30g salted ricotta or pecorino
- A little lemon zest
Place a large pan of salted water on to boil. Pop a medium sized non-stick frying pan on a medium-low heat and pour in a lug of olive oil. Squeeze the sausage meat out of its skin and roll into small meatballs, about 2.5cm in size. Pop the meatballs on the frying pan and cook for around 10 minutes, until golden on the outside but cooked through.
Meanwhile cook the spaghetti for 9 minutes, so al dente, or according to packet instructions.
Whilst the meatballs and spaghetti are cooking make the pesto. Pop the sorrel, pine nuts, garlic and basil (or parsley) leaves in a blender with 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Blitz till you have a smooth pesto, adding a little more olive oil if need be. Finely grate in the cheese and stir.
When everything is cooked, drag the spaghetti from the pot, into the frying pan with a pair of tongs (letting any pasta water get in there too). Remove the frying pan from the heat and add 2 tablespoons of the pesto and toss everything together well. Add a little pasta water as you go, so it becomes super silky smooth. Finely grate over a little lemon zest, a bit more ricotta or pecorino and season to taste. Serve immediately and have a good time.
NB: store any leftover pesto in a bowl or jar, with a layer of extra virgin olive oil on top, in the fridge for around 5-6 days.