I have a bit of a pasta obsession. In my childhood we didn’t have it very much – I think pasta was still considered quite an exotic food in the UK in the 80’s to early 90’s. I remember when I first started eating it, it was probably in my early teens. My mum would make dishes like lasagne or spaghetti bolognese and I fell in love. It was also when I first started experimenting with making my dishes ( aside from sweet bakes ), I would often cook pasta with cheese sauce and broccoli or chicken for myself and my Dad whenever it was just us at home – he has over the years become a pasta fiend himself.
It was the first time I sensed the incredible enjoyment of cooking for someone you love and making them happy through food – I can still taste that dish if I think about it. Anyway enough of my reminiscing. Bertolli recently got in touch and asked if I would like to recreate one of the recipes they have developed with Gennaro Contaldo. I use Bertolli oils and spreads quite regularly ( you can find a recipe for olive oil ice cream here using their fruity oil ) and I am a fan of Gennaro – I think it is the twinkly, friendly face and his way of chatting as he cooks. I chose this Pancetta Pasta with Peas mainly because I like the simplicity of the dish. Too often we can over complicate recipes with a hundred and one ingredients. This recipe has just 6 ingredients, pasta, peas, pancetta, mint, onion and Bertolli With Butter.
Just 5 minutes prep and 15 minutes cooking time means there really is no excuse not to try this dish which is just full of fresh Summer flavour. I opted to make my own cheats version of garlic bread to accompany the meal and you can find the recipe for that below.
Bertolli with butter is made from the quality olive oil that Bertolli is known for with a rich, buttery taste. Seriously so good.
For once I tried not to fiddle too much with someone else’s recipe and aside from adding some chopped garlic along with the onions I made no other changes. It is filling yet not too heavy and the mint is subtle but it’s still there in every mouthful. It easily serves 4, I have a small bowl for my lunch at work tomorrow too.
Gennaro has created 11 dishes for Bertolli and it’s not just pasta on the menu. There are a range of dishes from simple sides such as leek with bacon to the more intriguing strawberry risotto. You can find all of the recipes here.
Easy Parmesan Garlic Bread
Here in the UK we are never content with one carb laden meal, we have to just throw something else in as well don’t we? Garlic bread seems to be the favoured side for most of us with pasta dishes. This is a really simple one to make as it uses a store bought french stick simply sliced deeply, filled with Bertolli Butter and Garlic puree and sprinkled with parmesan.
You will need:
1 small french stick/baguette
150g Bertolli with butter
2 tbsp garlic puree/paste
2 tbsp grated parmesan
Preheat your oven to 200c. Mix your butter and garlic well. Cut diagonally into the baguette leaving a good inch at the bottom to hold it all together. Evenly distribute the garlic butter between the slices, wrap in foil and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from the foil, sprinkle over your parmesan and bake for a further 3-5 minutes. Serve alongside your pasta.
What is your favourite pasta dish?
* This post is in collaboration with Bertolli and I have been compensated for my time