Thursday, 4 October 2012

Pasta with Gruyere, Pine Nuts, Basil and Garlic-infused Olive Oil

My wife is quite a complicated creature. At times she is a complete pushover (a description she hates - but who cares? She's a bit of a pushover), and at other times a complete P in the A. It can be a bit of a minefield working out which Mrs Ribeye will be coming through the door, and so the best policy is to tread fairly carefully, then try a bit of a joke at her expense before either apologising profusely or hammering my (frankly hilarious) point home. Gotta love marriage.

One way to convert an on-edge tiger to an affectionate pushover kitten, is to keep them happy with their favourite grub. Mrs Ribeye's catnip of choice is anything pasta-centric, hence Linguine 'Mrs Ribeye'. Today's dish is my newest invention, and quite frankly, it's a bit of a hit - which means I'm off the hook after winding her up just a little too much when she got home, after she spent the day telling her slightly (as in, majorly) diva-ish colleague, Dali, off all day.

Think of this pasta dressing as a kind of un-blitzed pesto, but made with gruyere instead of parmesan. If my friend Kumar had not resisted me making fondue last weekend, I wouldn't have had so much bloody gruyere in the fridge, so probably would have made this dish with whatever other cheese I had lying around - but gruyere is such a deliciously fab melting cheese, that in a way I'm delighted I have a large block (or two) in the fridge ready to use in other things.

I have chosen mushroom tortellini (not home made, of course, who could be bothered?) as my pasta, because Mrs Ribeye is quite the fan of stuffed pasta shapes (I think it's a Russian thing - she loves pelmeni), but this dish would be great with linguine or spaghetti, or even penne. It's dead easy to make and quick too - which means more time listening to the wife's 'interesting' work tales and less time hiding in the kitchen. Oh well, you can't have everything.

Oh, and apart from being easy and delicious, this dish is cheap too: £2.75 per serving.

Serves 2


3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of pine nuts
1 x 300g pack of tortellini, cooked as per the instructions
Handful of fresh basil leaves
100g gruyere cheese, shaved, using a potato peeler
Salt and pepper

Mix the oil and garlic together and set aside to infuse. Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan until golden and set aside. Cook the tortellini and transfer to a serving dish. Dress with the garlic-infused oil (taking care not to add the raw garlic to the dish) and garnish with the pine nuts, basil and gruyere shavings. Season to taste and serve immediately.

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