Capellini and Pesto

 

There’s nothing finer than knocking up a super quick supper that punches well above its weight. Pressed for time and noticing my basil plant needed a haircut, I made a quick batch of pesto and tossed it through some capellini and tucked in. A lovely dish in less than 5 minutes.

Capellini is my favourite variety of pasta – but being so delicate it cannot handle a strong, thick sauce. By making the pesto a tad runnier than usual and adding a little pasta water, the results were fantastic.

Capellini & Pesto

Serves 1

Ingredients:
90g Capellini Pasta
Large handful fresh basil
25g Grated Parmesan
Juice of 1/4 Lemon
Handful Pine Nuts, Toasted
1/2 Cup Mild Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Black Pepper
A little reserved Pasta Water

Method:

1) Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water for around 5 minutes, or until cooked.

2) Whilst the pasta is cooking, make the pesto. Blitz the basil, pinenuts, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor, gradually adding the olive oil until the desired consistency is reached – my pesto was a similar consistency to lightly whipped double cream.

3) Once the pasta is cooked, drain. Toss the pesto through the pasta, adding a little pasta water if required to loosen the consistency.

Enjoy!

Sous Vide Venison, Parsnip Chips


 

October is the best month of the year – Venison season and my birthday month, all topped off by Halloween celebrations! Venison is my favourite game meat and the one I cook most often. It is a truly beautiful meat – a perfect balance of tenderness and gamey flavour (which doesn’t over-power).

Loin is a perfect showcase for sous vide cooking and has proved the most appreciative recipient. Cooking for 1 hour at 61C gives perfect results. I then rolled the venison in Taste No. 5 powder before quickly searing to give a greater depth of flavour – but it would be equally delicious without.

I’ve recently discovered smoked sea salt and I’m an instant convert. Sprinkle a little on the venison and drizzle over some Oro De Bailen before serving – perfection (and very little work)!

I craved something starchy and fried with this but I’ve had a glut of tripe cooked chips recently. To save my guilt I knocked up a quick batch of parsnip chips – recipe included.

Sous Vide Venison, Parsnip Chips

Serves 2

Ingredients:
For the Venison: 500g Trimmed Venison Loin, 1tbsp Butter, 1 Thyme Sprig, 1 Garlic Clove Bashed, Taste No. 5 Powder, Smoked Sea Salt, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For the Chips: 2 Large Parsnips, 1tbsp Plain Flour, 1tsp Cayenne Pepper, 4tbsp Vegetable Oil, Sea Salt, Black Pepper

Method:
1) Pre-heat the water bath to 61C. Make a herb sachet by wrapping the thyme and garlic in cling film and cutting off the ends. Vacuum pack the venison with the butter and herb sachet. Place in the water bath and cook at 61C for 1 hour.
2) In the meantime, make the parsnip chips. Pre heat the oven to 210C. Add the oil to a medium baking tray and place in the oven to heat.
3) Cut the parsnips into even sized chips and place in a large pan of salted cold water. Bring the water to the boil, boil for two minutes then drain the parsnips.
4) Place the parsnips in a bowl with the flour, cayenne, a little salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Cook the chips in the hot oil for around 30 minutes or until crisp, turn half way through cooking. Keep warm until the venison is ready.
5)  Once the venison is ready, remove from the water bath and the vacuum bag. Sprinkle with Taste No. 5 powder and sear quickly in a little olive oil in a very hot pan.
6) To serve, slice the venison, sprinkle with a little smoked sea salt and drizzle with good quality extra-virgin olive oil. Serve the parsnip chips on the side.