I used to have this thing with pasta. I would eat it every second day because I just couldn’t get enough of it. Drowned in creamy sauce, topped with a meaty ragu or simply buttered with garlic and parsley, I would eat it all. Then, as is the case when you overdo a good thing, I went off it. Like, really went off it. I couldn’t stand pasta anymore and would only make it when my family asked for it. And even then I would only eat the sauce and skip the pasta.
But then last night, I had a whole bunch of cheese leftover from a shoot I did last week and decided to melt it in a pan full of cream. As you do. I then cooked some linguini and dumped the whole lot in there and you guys, it was so delicious. I wasn’t even hungry and I ate an entire bowl full.
This to me is just one of those incredibly delicious, simple meals that require no thought or effort and will be satisfying every.single.time. The only trick is to taste the cheese before you melt it into the cream. There have been many times when I’ve bought a wedge of (what I thought would be) aged Parmesan only to find a triangle of rubbery, bland cheese when I opened it. The same goes for blue cheese. If you don’t taste it before, it could totally over power your dish and make it almost inedible. Nobody wants that. So taste the cheese and adjust accordingly. Add more, add less but always make sure that the balance of salt is right. Finish the sauce with a good handful of chopped parsley and a little lemon to balance the richness and you will have a luscious, delectable sauce to serve with your pasta. Deeelicious!
- 250ml cream
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 garlic clove, bruised
- cracked black pepper, to taste
- 150-200g cheese of your choice (I used Gorgonzola, Gruyere, Parmesan and Brie)
- large handful chopped parsley
- salt, to taste
- squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- 500g cooked linguini, reserve ½ cup cooking water
- Place the cream, bay leaf, thyme, garlic and pepper in a saucepan and heat gently to infuse. When the cream starts to simmer, turn down the heat, remove the flavourings and add the cheese.
- Allow the cheese to melt, stirring every now and then.
- Adjust the seasoning and add the lemon juice.
- Immediately add the pasta and toss to coat. Add the cooking water to "loosen" the sauce and serve with a generous grating of Parmesan and chopped parsley.