Armed with our spoils, I was delighted to discover a recipe for crunchy pappardelle in the Guardian's weekend supplement, taken from Ottolenghi's forthcoming cookbook, Plenty. Pasta is so often the perfect vehicle for decent, flavoursome ingredients with minimal faffing around. I've also been meaning to garnish a pasta dish with breadcrumbs ever since I saw it here, so it really was the ideal recipe for the occasion.
I made a few changes, mainly substituting the garlic for wild garlic which is in season now and had a beautifully mild, but definitely garlicky flavour. Creamy and crunchy, it was a dish to herald springtime.
Crunchy Pappardelle with Purple Sprouting Broccoli
Serves one (generously)
125gr purple sprouting broccoli
A large handful of wild garlic
125ml double cream
A splash of white wine
6 chestnut mushrooms
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
Zest of half a lemon
A stalk of rosemary
4 heaped tbsp panko breadcrumbs
A sprinkle of chilli flakes
Salt and black pepper
Set a large pot of salted water on to boil and throw the pasta in. Heat a little oil in a non stick pan and fry the mushrooms, quartered, until lightly coloured. Add the white wine, chilli flakes and double cream and simmer until reduced by about half.
Meanwhile, wash the broccoli and blanch in boiling water for a couple of minutes and drain.
In a non-stick frying pan, toast the breadcrumbs with the lemon zest and parsley until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Chop the wild garlic roughly.
When the pasta is just short of al dente, drain, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the cream mixture with the wild garlic and throw the broccoli back in. Cook on a low heat stirring slowly, adding the reserved cooking water tablespoon at a time if it's looking a little dry. Do this for a few minutes for the pasta to finish cooking. To serve, pile on a plate, season well and garnish with the breadcrumbs.