It's nice, sometimes, to pretend you're eating out when you are, in fact, at home. Though this dish is extremely simple to make, the copious amount of cheese and butter paired with the fact that there's also a side dish makes it seems a lot more extravagant than it is, and I support that entirely. Inspired by a dish mentioned by Richard Brendon in the second episode of the 'How to Eat Alone' podcast, do me a favour and make sure you set the table nicely for yourself.
Time: 15 minutes
Faff Level: 3/10
Makes: A plate of pasta and a spinach side for one person.
75g of linguine (The rule of pasta for one - between 75g and 100g of pasta per person, but bare in mind that 100g is for a very hungry person, so adjust accordingly).
2 tablespoons of good quality butter
A handful of grated parmesan
zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 handfuls of spinach
A dollop of mascarpone
Salt and pepper
1. Bring water to the boil, then add linguine.
2. Wilt spinach for a couple of minutes. You can also steam lightly for a couple of minutes by placing a steamer over the boiling pasta, which means you can take full advantage of that boiling pan of water.
3. Whilst waiting for the pasta to boil, in a heavy bottomed pan, fry the butter on a medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously, until it bubbles and goes a light brown colour. As it browns, foam will form and it will start to smell and taste nutty. It will then start to form little brown specks. Stir the brown specks through until all the butter has turned a light brown colour, then take it off the heat immediately.
4. After about 10 minutes, drain pasta and add it to the butter pan. Sprinkle over half the parmesan, add lemon zest and toss the pasta. Add the remaining parmesan on top and season to taste.
5. Drain the spinach, squeeze lemon juice over it then dollop a teaspoon of mascarpone on top. Season to taste and serve as a side to the linguine.