As I’m putting the finishing touches on our book, (T minus 3 days!) I thought now would be a good time to start making recipes from other peoples’ books…
Last week, I briefly talked about Anna’s book, A Modern Way To Eat. While it’s been out for awhile now, it’s only recently been released in the US and I finally got my hands on a copy. What I love about it is that it’s more than just a book full of recipes (although there are over 200 of them!)… she offers tons of delicious ideas for how to mix flavors and textures together in creative but not-fussy ways.
Last night, I was looking for something quick to make for dinner – the only requirement was that I had to have the ingredients already on hand. This spaghetti with avocado and lemon zest had my name written all over it – I’m a sucker for anything with avocado, yet I’d never thought to put it on pasta before. The only thing I didn’t have was parsley so I used a bit of watercress instead.
My favorite part about the recipe has to be her final instruction: “Scoop the pasta into bowls and eat on your lap.” Done and done.
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 400g spaghetti
- olive oil
- 4 tablespoons capers in brine, roughly chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and very finely sliced
- grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons, and juice of 1⁄2 a lemon
- a bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked
- a bunch of fresh parsley, leaves picked
- 2 ripe avocados
- Fill a big pan with boiling water and add a good pinch of salt. Bring to a rolling boil, then add the pasta and cook for 8–10 minutes, or according to the instructions on the packet, until perfectly al dente.
- Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan on a low heat, then add the capers and garlic and sizzle gently until the edge of the garlic starts to very slightly brown. Remove from the heat and add the lemon zest.
- Chop the herbs and add them to the pan. Halve and destone the avocados, then use a knife to make criss-cross cuts through the flesh, chopping it inside the skin. Use a spoon to scoop out each half into the pan, and stir to mix all the flavours together.
- Before you drain the pasta, carefully scoop out half a mugful of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and add it to the frying pan with a little of the cooking water and a good drizzle of olive oil. Taste and add salt, pepper and lemon juice as needed. Scoop the pasta into bowls and eat on your lap.
Also, I made a half-recipe to serve just 2 of us.