Tag: marjoram

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

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

Green Beans, Fresh Herbs and a Fried Egg

Pastis Beans with Herbs + a Fried Egg

Three different kinds of fresh herbs are spread on my table, ready to be mixed with my sautéed green beans! I chose a few sprigs of fresh thyme, summer savory and marjoram from my herbal pot selection to turn this simple dish into an aromatic combination of crisp greens and fried eggs. I deglazed the beans with pastis to add one more flavour, a wonderfully warm anise! The strong aroma of this liqueur lifts the beans up to another level, it works with fava beans as well!

Unfortunately, many people around me are not too fond of anise aroma, it’s one of those spices that is mentioned the most when I ask people about their culinary dislikes. Therefore I keep this dish for the two of us and the few who appreciate pastis as much as I do, be it on a plate or in a glass.

Tomorrow I will share a recipe with you which shows off this liqueur’s sweet side!

Pastis Beans with Herbs + a Fried Egg

 Green Beans, Fresh Herbs and a Fried Egg

For 2 people you need

green beans, the ends cut off, 250g / 9 ounces
a small onion, cut in half and sliced thinly, 1
pastis 50ml / 1 3/4 ounces
water 50ml / 1 3/4 ounces
garlic, thinly sliced, 2 cloves
thyme a small bunch
summer savory 2 sprigs
marjoram 2 sprigs
olive oil
salt and pepper
organic eggs 2
butter

In large sauce pan, heat a splash of olive oil and cook the onions on medium temperature for 2 minutes. Add a little more oil and the beans, stir and cook for 3 minutes. Deglaze with the pastis, season with salt and pepper, add the water and herbs and cook with a closed lid for 8-10 minutes or until the beans are al dente. Season with salt, pepper and pastis to taste.

Heat a little butter in a pan and fry the eggs on a medium heat. Serve the eggs on top of the beans.

Pastis Beans with Herbs + a Fried Egg

 

Pastis Beans with Herbs + a Fried Egg