As I mentioned yesterday, when I shared my recipe for Bacon, Leek & Porcini Mushroom Risotto, this week I've been working my way through some lovely authentic Italian products that I received from To Tuscany after taking part in their recipe competition last year. Two of the products that I discovered were some gorgeous artisanal tagliatelle and a sachet of Spaghettata Piccante spices.
The pasta was from La Pasta di Aldo and I love the fact that you can see the hooked ends from where it was hung up to dry. It has a wonderfully coarse, rugged texture that even the high-quality mass-produced stuff never has, so I knew we'd be in for a treat. This was Tagliatelle al Tartufo so it had tiny nuggets of black truffle dotted throughout - they also have lemon, squid ink and saffron varieties that look equally appealing.
The Spaghettata Piccante spices come from Casa Porciatti, a delicatessen, wine bar and restaurant that has existed in the main Chianti town of Radda for fifty years, according to the packaging. The spices are a blend of chilli pepper, garlic, parsley, salt and chervil (French parsley).
I tasted some out of the pack on my finger and it has a massive chilli kick so you need to go easy on the dosage ! You lightly fry a spoonful of the spices in olive oil for a couple of minutes (To Tuscany sent me a lovely bottle of olive oil at Christmas too which was perfect) then, after cooking the pasta in boiling salted water for 4-8 minutes, you toss it in the pan.
Top with a sprinkle of parmesan and that's it - there's no need for a heavy sauce which helps cut the calories if you're on a New Year diet !
I served ours with some grilled sausages and it was delicious. Very simple and it allowed the flavour of the pasta to come through without overpowering it. I think the spices would be great scattered over pizza too.
*** Don't miss my country-by-country globecooking recipe index ! ***