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Tag: spaghetti

Spaghetti with Asparagus, Burrata and Ramp Pesto

Spaghetti with Asparagus, Burrata and Pesto

I think spring is my favourite season – until I feel the same in summer, autumn, or winter, depending on my mood. Spring offers a lot of drama and surprises. The changeover from the cold season is so drastic, so abrupt. There’s so much energy around and inside me all of a sudden without even knowing where it’s coming from. The temperature rises, nature’s sprouting and flourishing at every corner, adding colour to a scene that was brown and grey only a few weeks ago. I welcome these changes with gushing excitement and open the doors to my kitchen for all those greens that are soon to come to my cooking space.

In the past couple weeks, the fragile leaves of fragrant ramps brought Mediterranean pesto back to our table. And crisp asparagus is next. The official harvest start of the white asparagus from Beelitz happened last week, so let the feasting begin! When I eat the white stalks, I’m quite a traditionalist. Young potatoes, ham, and Hollandaise sauce is all I need. But when it comes to green asparagus, I become more experimental.

This little lunch was as simple as it was stunning: I added the green stalks, boiled and very thinly sliced, to a plate of warm spaghetti, burrata (mozzarella di Bufala would also work), and ramp pesto. You could also go for a basil or arugula (rucola) pesto, but I enjoyed the subtle oniony flavour in my green creation. In case you disagree, you’ll find the links to all three pesto recipes below. Buon Appetito!

Spaghetti with Asparagus, Burrata and Pesto

Spaghetti with Asparagus, Burrata and Ramp Pesto

Serves 2

For the ramp pesto
(here you can find alternative recipes for basil or arugula pesto)

ramps or ramson, leaves only, 1 medium bunch (around 60g / 2 ounces)
parmesan 30g / 1 ounce
olive oil 60ml / 1/4 cup
salt 1/4 teaspoon

For the pasta

green asparagus, the bottoms cut off, 1 pound
spaghetti 150-200g / 5-7 ounces
olive oil
burrata (or mozzarella di Bufala) 200g / 7 ounces
ramp pesto about 4 tablespoons
flaky sea salt
black peppercorns, crushed with a mortar

For the pesto, purée the ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth and season with salt to taste.

Cook the asparagus in plenty of salted water for about 3 minutes or until al dente. Using a slotted ladle, transfer the asparagus to a colander (leave the water in the pot), rinse the stalks briefly with cold water, and drain. Using a sharp knife, lengthwise, quarter each stalk into 4 long pieces (including the heads).

To cook the pasta, put the pot you used for the asparagus back on the heat, bring the water to the boil (add more water if necessary), and cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain, transfer back to the pot, and stir in a tiny splash of olive oil.

Divide the pasta and asparagus between 2 plates, folding the vegetable into the spaghetti. Break the burrata in half and place in the middle of each pasta plate. Drizzle with pesto and a few drops of olive oil (optional) and season with salt and crushed pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Spaghetti with Asparagus, Burrata and Pesto

 

Spaghetti with Asparagus, Burrata and Pesto

 

Spaghetti with Asparagus, Burrata and Pesto

 

Spaghetti with Asparagus, Burrata and Pesto

Spaghetti with Lemon Pistachio Pesto and Mozzarella di Bufala

Spaghetti with Lemon Pistachio Pesto and Mozzarella di Bufala

I love to end the year with a plate full of spaghetti. It gives me the kind of comfort that pasta masters to perfection. Its beauty and magic lies in simplicity – and in many happy carbs. This year’s combination is tangy, a bit creamy, and nutty –  it makes me feel good and that’s all I need. So here’s my Mediterranean creation to celebrate the changeover from 2016 to 2017: spaghetti with lemon pistachio pesto and mozzarella di Bufala.

In the past 12 months of this turbulent year I felt my limits quite often and I flew higher than I thought I could ever fly without burning my wings. I saw my first cookbook being born, being celebrated during my book tour in Berlin, London, Malta, New York, and Washington. I saw the Eat In My Kitchen book reaching the New York Times’ list of ‘The Best Cookbooks of Fall 2016’, which I still can’t really believe. So much love and support came into my life, so much happiness has been spread through this book that feels like a baby to me. There were unbelievable highs, so many wonderful moments, moments that I will feel thankful for for the rest of my life. But there were also lows and losses that tore trenches into my heart that will hurt for the rest of my life. I lost a person who’s been so close to me that I sometimes can’t even say who’s me and who’s him. He was my mentor, my supporter, my biggest critic, my challenger. He was my friend, my most beloved Swabian, and my step father. I wouldn’t be who I am without him, and I’ll never again be who I was before he left this world. Eat In My Kitchen wouldn’t be what it is without him.

I want to thank all of you for supporting me and my book, for being there and for coming back to these pages here on the blog. Eat In My Kitchen makes me grow every day, this blog makes me go back to my kitchen and experiment more than I would do if I didn’t write about it. Thank you for being on this journey together with me.

Have a peaceful and joyful start into the New Year!

Meike

Spaghetti with Lemon Pistachio Pesto and Mozzarella di Bufala

Spaghetti with Lemon Pistachio Pesto and Mozzarella di Bufala

Serves 2

dried spaghetti 200g / 7 ounces
olive oil
mozzarella di Bufala, torn into bite sized pieces, 125g / 4 1/2 ounces
flaky sea salt
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar

For the pesto

freshly grated lemon zest 4 tablespoons, plus more for the topping
freshly grated young Parmesan 4 tablespoons, plus more for the topping
finely chopped shelled pistachios (unsalted) about 1 tablespoon, plus more (roughly chopped) for the topping
olive oil 3 tablespoons
fine sea salt

In a large pot filled with salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and stir in a little splash of olive oil.

For the pesto, in a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, Parmesan, pistachios, and olive oil and use the back of a spoon to press the Parmesan into the oil until well combined. Season to taste with salt.

Divide the spaghetti and mozzarella di Bufala between plates. Sprinkle with pesto, additional lemon zest, Parmesan, and pistachios. Season to taste with flaky sea salt and crushed peppercorns, serve immediately.

Spaghetti with Lemon Pistachio Pesto and Mozzarella di Bufala

 

Spaghetti with Lemon Pistachio Pesto and Mozzarella di Bufala

 

pastalemonpistaSpaghetti with Lemon Pistachio Pesto and Mozzarella di Bufalachiopesto6

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato and Pistachio Pesto and a new Saturday ritual

Pasta with Dried-Tomato and Pistachio Pesto

We started a new ritual and that’s to spend our Saturdays without any electronic devices, preferably in the countryside. It’s just the two of us, no duties, meetings, parties or anything, we just go with the flow and see where our mood takes us. I can’t even say which part of this ritual I enjoy more, the fact that we leave the city for a few hours or that I have 24 hours without emails, Instagram or any other social network activities. I love it.

Last Saturday we spontaneously decided to take the bus to the west of Berlin to have a cup of espresso in my aunt Ursula’s kitchen. She and my uncle Uwe make the best coffee in town and whenever I announce our visit, I can be sure to find a few pieces of cake on their table – they know me well. The espresso tasted so good that I had to have 2 doppio, which made me a bit hyperactive and ready for the next adventure. We wanted to visit Berlin’s best farmers market at Karl-August-Platz, but we got “stuck” on Kantstraße, a street famous for its Asian restaurants. We stopped at a restaurant that I’ve been wanting to test for years, but unfortunately, it didn’t meet my expectations. We ordered 6 dishes and none of them really struck me. The problem with hyped food places in the city is that you expect something outstandingly amazing if so many people talk about it. So if it’s just average, it’s disappointing. Our dessert was ice cream from the supermarket, which I don’t do very often, but it never lets me down and it’s a reminder of lots of good childhood memories. Stuffed and happy we walked to a small lake and fell asleep in the warming sunlight. The whole scene felt a bit Roman: Two happy people after a lavish meal taking a nap on a blanket in the grass.

Revitalized, we drove back home, planning our dinner of white asparagus, fresh from the fields in Beelitz. It wouldn’t be a proper Saturday if our plans didn’t change with our mood. We stopped by at our favourite local wine shop to buy a bottle of rosé for our meal, but the little bistro tables looked so inviting that we couldn’t resist sitting down for a glass of German Weissburgunder, some lemon olives, and an asparagus quiche. We got chatty and silly and stayed until 11pm, needless to say, we didn’t stop after the first glass.

We haven’t made any plans for next weekend yet, but at one point there will be this pasta dish on the table again, which I came up with last week and got hooked on. It’s a quick pesto made of sun-dried tomatoes and pistachios, the combination is divine, and it’s even better when it’s stirred into warm spaghetti. It also works very well as a thick spread on rustic white bread, the perfect nibble along with a glass of chilled German white wine. There’s one thing that our Saturdays have in common, there’s often a bottle of good wine involved – la dolce vita for a day!

Here’s my recipe for another sun-dried tomato pesto, with rosemary and thyme.

Pasta with Dried-Tomato and Pistachio Pesto

 

Pasta with Dried-Tomato and Pistachio Pesto

Pasta with Dried-Tomato and Pistachio Pesto

Serves 2

dried spaghetti, about 200g / 7 ounces
flaky sea salt, for the topping
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar, for the topping

For the pesto

sun-dried tomatoes, preserved in salt, 50g / 1 3/4 ounces
salted shelled pistachios 60g / 2 ounces, plus a few chopped pistachios for the topping
olive oil 60ml / 1/4 cup
garlic, crushed, 1 large clove

In a large pot, cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente.

In a small saucepan, cook the sun-dried tomatoes in a little boiling water for about 3-4 minutes or until soft. Reserve the water and rinse the tomatoes under cold water. Pat them dry with paper towels.

In a food processor or blender, purée the dried tomatoes along with 4 tablespoons of their cooking water, the pistachios, olive oil, and the garlic until smooth. Add more of the cooking water and olive oil if the pesto is too dry.

Divide the pasta between 2 plates and stir in some of the pesto. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and season with flaky sea salt and crushed pepper to taste.

You can use any leftover pesto as a spread on bread.

Pasta with Dried-Tomato and Pistachio Pesto

 

Pasta with Dried-Tomato and Pistachio Pesto

 

pastadriedtomatopistachiopesto6

 

pastadriedtomatopistachiopesto8

Spaghetti with Pea Pesto, Roast Garlic, and Fresh Marjoram

Spaghetti with Pea Pesto, Roast Garlic, and Fresh Marjoram

So now that spring has officially begun, the leaves on the tree in front of my living room window should start sprouting in fresh crisp greens, the birds should sing all day, and the rosé wine should fill the glasses to welcome the new season. But – apart from the pink wine – there isn’t the slightest sign of bright sunshine and rising temperatures in the city. It makes no sense to despair, so I use the kitchen to create the atmosphere I’m after instead. The wine is chilled, the spaghetti’s cooked, and a bright green pesto of sweet peas (frozen, I must admit), and fresh marjoram puts me in the right mood. I also roast whole cloves of garlic in their skins in the oven to turn them into a sweet paste. The golden cloves are mashed with a fork and mixed into the pasta – this dish looks like spring, tastes like spring, and makes me forget about grey skies, leafless trees, and my constant lack of sunshine.

This is the last of three recipes I created for Westelm. You can find all three recipes including my Mozzarella, Tapenade, and Preserved Lemon Sandwich and Pumpkin Quiche with Taleggio and Sage on their blog. This post was sponsored by West Elm to make my kitchen a little prettier!

Spaghetti with Pea Pesto, Roast Garlic, and Fresh Marjoram

 

Spaghetti with Pea Pesto, Roast Garlic, and Fresh Marjoram

Spaghetti with Pea Pesto, Roast Garlic, and Fresh Marjoram

Serves 2

For the pesto

peas (fresh or frozen) 200g / 7 ounces
fresh marjoram leaves 2 teaspoons, plus 2 tablespoons marjoram leaves for the topping
water used to cook the peas 3 tablespoons
freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 teaspoons
olive oil 3 tablespoons
fine sea salt
ground pepper

large garlic cloves, unpeeled, 12-16
spaghetti 200g / 7 ounces
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar

Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F.

For the pea pesto, in a small saucepan, bring salted water to the boil and blanch the peas for 1 minute, reserve about 6 tablespoons of the water. Drain and quickly rinse the peas with cold water. Purée the peas, marjoram, 3 tablespoons of the water used to cook the peas, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor until smooth. If the pesto is too dry, add more of the pea-water. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Spread the garlic cloves in a baking dish and roast, turning the garlic occasionally, for about 25 minutes or until the garlic is soft enough to mash with a fork – mind that it doesn’t burn. Take the garlic out of the oven, let it cool for a minute, then peel the garlic cloves out of their skins and mash with a fork.

In a large pot, bring plenty of salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti until al dente, drain, and stir in a splash of olive oil.

Divide the spaghetti between plates, sprinkle generously with the pea pesto, crushed pepper, and fresh marjoram leaves. Lay the mashed garlic on top and serve immediately.

Spaghetti with Pea Pesto, Roast Garlic, and Fresh Marjoram

 

Spaghetti with Pea Pesto, Roast Garlic, and Fresh Marjoram

 

Spaghetti with Pea Pesto, Roast Garlic, and Fresh Marjoram

 

Spaghetti with Pea Pesto, Roast Garlic, and Fresh Marjoram

 

Spaghetti with Pea Pesto, Roast Garlic, and Fresh Marjoram

 

peapestogarlicpastamarjoram10

 

peapestogarlicpastamarjoram9

Roast Garlic Butter Spaghetti with Thyme

Roasted Garlic Butter Spaghetti

The amount of garlic in this velvety butter sounds intimidating but if you let go of the idea of harsh, raw garlic and think of smooth, oven-roasted cloves instead, it makes a lot of sense. For the two of us, I used 22 (!) large cloves, cooked in their skins in a hot oven. This kind of roasting turns them into a sweet, almost caramelized purée, so soft that you can mash it with a fork. I only mixed them with a bit of butter and salt and my pasta dish was almost done. Young Pecorino melted on top of the spaghetti – parmesan would have been too strong and salty – and a few fresh thyme leaves and crushed peppercorns to balance out the sweetness.

It’s a very simple dish but there’s something very sensual and satisfying about it at the same time. If I weren’t so much into tradition, I would consider exchanging my annual Christmas duck with this easy plate of pasta. A bottle of extravagant Bordeaux – bought without looking at the price, seeing that the dish itself wouldn’t cost much – and my relaxed Christmas Eve would be sorted. However, I can’t live without my slow roasted bird on the 24th December – which is Christmas in Germany – it was just a thought.

Roasted Garlic Butter Spaghetti

 

Roasted Garlic Butter Spaghetti

Roast Garlic Butter Spaghetti with Thyme

Serves 2

garlic 22 large cloves (in their skin)
spaghetti 200g / 7 ounces
butter, soft, about 30g / 2 tablespoons
flaky sea salt
young pecorino, freshly grated, about 2-3 tablespoons
fresh thyme leaves, about 2 tablespoons
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar

Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F (preferably conventional setting).

Spread the garlic in a large baking dish and roast in the oven for about 25 minutes or until soft. Turn the cloves occasionally and mind that they don’t burn. Let them cool for a few minutes, peel them out of their skins and transfer them to a blender or food processor.

Cook the pasta in a large pot in plenty of salted water until al dente.

Add the butter and a little salt to the garlic in the blender and purée until smooth. Season with salt to taste.

Mix the warm spaghetti with the garlic butter and divide between plates. Sprinkle with pecorino, thyme, and pepper. Season with salt to taste and enjoy!

Roasted Garlic Butter Spaghetti

 

Roasted Garlic Butter Spaghetti

 

Roasted Garlic Butter Spaghetti

 

roastedgarlicbutterpasta8

Porcini and Chanterelles Spaghetti with Orange Butter and Sage

Porcini and Chanterelles Pasta with Orange and Sage

Three bags full of porcini, chanterelles and king oyster mushrooms fresh from the market and a sudden change of recipe: mushroom gnocchi were on my mind, aromatic porcini finely chopped and mixed into a soft potato dough, but kitchen life doesn’t always go to plan. My recipe didn’t work out at all. A complete kitchen disaster, which I had to save by turning the gnocchi dough into a completely different kind of dish. Although it ended successfully, I felt exhausted but that’s another story and recipe to share another time (soon!).

The frustration about the unexpected failure and my growing appetite could only be cured by my most beloved comfort dish – pasta. Spaghetti with a little finesse, stirred in fruity orange butter – smooth like velvet – I mixed them with my leftover mushrooms. Sautéed until al dente with a topping of woody, crisped sage leaves, they were delicious! I was in peace again, with mushrooms and gnocchi and experimental recipes.

Porcini and Chanterelles Pasta with Orange and Sage

Porcini and Chanterelles Spaghetti with Orange Butter and Sage

Serves 2

spaghetti, cooked al dente, 200g / 7 ounces
butter
olive oil
porcini, cut into 1 1/2 cm / 1/2″ pieces, 60g / 2 ounces
chanterelles, cut in half (lengthwise), 100g / 3 1/2 ounces
king oyster mushrooms, cut into 1 1/2 cm / 1/2″ pieces, 100g / 3 1/2 ounces
fine sea salt
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar
fresh sage leaves 15
freshly squeezed orange juice 5 tablespoons
zest of 1 orange, for the topping

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a heavy pan and sauté the porcini for 1 minute on high heat until golden. Stir constantly, season with salt and pepper and transfer to a plate. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in the same pan and sauté the chanterelles for 1 – 1 1/2 minutes, season with salt and pepper and transfer next to the porcini on the plate. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and a splash of olive oil and sauté the king oyster mushrooms for 2 – 2 1/2 minutes until golden brown and with bite, season with salt and pepper and lay on the plate with the other mushrooms. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan and fry the sage leaves on medium-high heat for about half a minute until golden and crisp but not dark, transfer to a plate and pour the orange juice into the hot pan. Scrape off the bits and pieces and add the cooked pasta and mushrooms to the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with orange zest (to taste) and crisp sage leaves and enjoy warm.

Porcini and Chanterelles Pasta with Orange and Sage

 

Porcini and Chanterelles Pasta with Orange and Sage

 

mushroomorangesagepasta5

 

mushroomorangesagepasta6

Spaghetti with Pan Roasted Fennel

Spaghetti with Pan Roasted Fennel

A while ago, I cooked a fragrant pan full of crisp and golden fennel potatoes for us. I used fennel seeds and the vegetable’s thinly sliced bulb for this recipe, it was so good that I promised myself that I would use this combination for pasta one day. It took more than 3 months but it’s finally on our plates and my feeling was right, it works equally well with both.

The crisp vegetable adds a fresh touch to this dish, its distinct flavor is softer than the seeds, it’s almost citrussy. The seeds however add a warming depth, I roast them in a little olive oil to enhance their fragrant aroma and turn them into crunchy bites. You just have to be careful not to burn them, they taste bitter if they become too dark.

It was a quick one, all in all this meal only took 10 minutes to prepare. Once you throw the pasta into the boiling water you only need 3 minutes to cook the fennel before you mix everything with flaky sea salt and coarsely crushed pepper. It’s the perfect busy weekday or lazy weekend dinner!

Spaghetti with Pan Roasted Fennel

Spaghetti with Pan Roasted Fennel

For 2 people you need

spaghetti 100g / 3 1/2oz
fennel seeds, lightly crushed in a mortar, 1 1/2 tablespoon
olive oil
medium sized fennel bulb, cut in half and the stalk cut off, very thinly sliced, 1
flaky sea salt
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar

Cook the pasta in lots of salted water al dente.

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large heavy pan and cook the fennel seeds on medium heat for about 1 minute (they shouldn’t get dark!). Pull the pan off the heat, take the seeds out with a spoon and set them aside. Put the pan back on the heat and add the sliced fennel, sauté on medium heat for about 2-3 minute, the slices should be between al dente and soft. Stir in the spaghetti, fennel seeds and a splash of olive oil and season with sea salt and crushed pepper to taste, serve immediately.

Spaghetti with Pan Roasted Fennel

 

Spaghetti with Pan Roasted Fennel

 

fennelpasta8

 

fennelpasta7

Radicchio and Balsamic Butter Spaghetti with Marjoram and Pine Nuts

Radicchio, Balsamic Butter and Marjoram Pasta

Bitter radicchio, sweet and sour balsamic butter and flowery marjoram is a very powerful combination, every single flavour is dominant rather than subtle. They all scream for attention, but somehow manage to merge in this comfy pasta dish to create something bigger, a new taste that’s beyond their individual qualities.

Whenever I savour a meal with spaghetti, I’m always impressed by how such an easy dish can make me feel so good, comfortable and cosy, and at the same time, caress me with its sensuality. The most simple and quickest pasta dish, be it carbonara, bolognese, pure red sauce, or just butter and parmesan, can feel like a Mediterranean feast, it makes me forget about duties and sorrows, it’s a celebration of life. I guess that’s also the reason why there’s often wine involved, at least at our dinner table. It makes me want to have the windows wide open, dreamy music in the air carried away by a soft breeze, this is one of the most sensual meals in the whole world, spaghetti! Just thinking about it, writing about it, wakes up my senses, seeing the plate in front of me, to smell the teasing aroma of radicchio, vinegar, butter and nuts, and the fresh marjoram, makes me want to sing out loud and raise the glasses! Buon appetito!

Radicchio, Balsamic Butter and Marjoram Pasta

 

Radicchio, Balsamic Butter and Marjoram Pasta

Radicchio and Balsamic Butter Spaghetti with Marjoram and Pine Nuts

For 3-4 people you need

spaghetti 200g / 7 ounces
radicchio, quartered, stalk removed, cut into 1cm / 1/2″ thick slices, 430g / 15 ounces
fresh marjoram, a small handful
pine nuts, roasted, 20g / 3/4 ounce
Balsamico vinegar 30ml / 1 ounce
butter 50g / 1 3/4 ounces
a pinch of sugar
salt and pepper
olive oil

Cook the pasta in salted water al dente.

In a sauce pan, bring the vinegar to the boil and simmer for 1 minute. Take the pot off the heat and add the butter in 2-3 batches, let it melt in between and whisk well. Season with a pinch of sugar.

In a large pan, heat a splash of olive oil and sauté the slices of radicchio on medium-high for 1 minute on each side (it will fall apart, that’s fine). Take the pan off the heat and season with salt and pepper. Gently mix in the warm pasta and balsamic butter and serve with pine seeds and marjoram leaves. On the plates, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Radicchio, Balsamic Butter and Marjoram Pasta

 

Radicchio, Balsamic Butter and Marjoram Pasta

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