Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bucatini calabrese

Before the italian cooking savvy start a rant about me calling this dish calabrese, I admit: there is nothing traditionally calabrese about it whatsoever. But please, let me explain. It's all about the sundried tomatoes. Not just any sundried tomatoes, oh, no - the ones I used, ladies and gentlemen, were directly imported from Calabria, where P.'s parents got them while on holiday last summer. I've had the jar for a while now and, P., in case you wondered sometimes, I hadn't forgotten about it. The thing is, there was also a jar of store-bought sundried tomatoes to be used up and, more importantly, I had to think carefully about what to make with the original calabrese ones as I consider them to be too precious to be just casually used without giving it any deep thought. Here's what I came up with:

Bucatini with lamb tenderloin and sundried tomatoes (serves 2)

  • 120g bucatini or spaghetti
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 10 sundried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1 large handfull of flat-leafed parsley, chopped
  • 1 small glass of dry white wine
  • 300g lamb tenderloin
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 80° and heat an ovenproof dish. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, then fry the meat from all sides for six minutes in total. Immediately transfer into the preheated dish in the oven and leave in there for 30 minutes. Add the onions and garlic to the frying pan and cook over a low heat until softened. Add the sundried tomatoes and parsley and cook for a few minutes. Add the white wine and let it evaporate a bit. Season with a little black pepper. While the sauce is cooking, prepare the pasta, then drain and mix with the tomatoes. Remove the meat from the oven, cut into thick slices and arrange on the pasta. Serve with a little grated parmesan if you like.

Just a word about the tomatoes: they were amazing. They tasted of tomatoes and nothing but tomatoes (and the sun of southern Italy, I might say, but that's so clich├ęd, so I won't), none of those funny little side-tastes you sometimes get in store-bought sott'olio goods. The onion, garlic and parsley made for a nice addition without distracting from the main protagonist. Nice. Thank you, P.!

1 comment:

wheresmymind said...

Pasta and lamb...sounds like a great combo to me!