Crunchy pappardelle

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When the weather starts to warm up I look around for pasta dishes that fulfil my love of pasta whilst still being fresh, light and above all, colourful. This is one of those dishes and although it has a white wine and cream sauce, this is by no means heavy. The green of the broccolini adds the colour, while the crunch of the breadcrumbs mixed with lemon zest, garlic and parsley, makes the perfect topping. You do need to ensure that you keep aside some of the pasta cooking liquid to add to the sauce as it does dry out, and the sauce needs to be runny to give the dish it’s lightness. I also add a little dried chilli flakes to the sauce, but this is a personal preference and is optional. I have also made this dish using Philadelphia cooking cream rather than the double cream and it works a treat!

Team the dish with a crisp Chardonnay or Riesling and you have a wonderful meal for 2.

 

Crunchy pappardelle

50ml olive oil

250g button mushrooms, halved

100ml white wine

1 bay leaf

3 thyme sprigs, leaves picked and chopped

1/2 teaspoon caster sugar

150ml double cream

Grated zest of 1 lemon

1 garlic clove, crushed

3 tablespoons chopped parsley

20g panko breadcrumbs

250g broccolini

250g pappardelle

Salt and black pepper

Heat up the olive oil in a large saucepan and saute the mushrooms until they start taking on colour, stirring occasionally. Add the wine, bay leaf, thyme and sugar. Bring to the boil and reduce the liquid to a third. Add the cream and stir to mix. Taste and add plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Keep warm.
 
Mix together the lemon zest, garlic and parsley. In a hot pan toast the breadcrumbs until golden, stirring occasionally.
 
Clear any leaves from the broccolini, then cut into 6cm long pieces (stalks and florets). Blanch in salted water for 2 minutes and drain.
 
Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water, When the pasta is just ready, add the broccolini to the cream sauce to reheat. Drain the pappardelle, keeping some of the cooking liquid, and stir with the cream sauce; add half the parsley mix. If the sauce seems dry, add some of the reserved cooking liquid.
 
Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl. Stir the rest of the parsley mix into the breadcrumbs and sprinkle generously over the pappardelle, then serve immediately.
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