Many, many years ago, working in a small city bistro I first tried a variation of this simple fusilli dish. The Head Chef would whip it up as the staff dinner before service and I was struck by its delicious simplicity. We have recreated it here, to the best of my memory, and it never fails to remind me of smart Italian waiters, white linen clad tables and the hustle and bustle behind the scenes at an inner city restaurant.
Using minimal ingredients of the highest quality is the trick to this dish – fresh green basil leaves, juicy ripe tomatoes and creamy goat’s curd – the combination is truly perfection!
Ingredients (serves 2)
200g dried Fusilli pasta
10-12 cherry tomatoes
50g goat’s curd
2 tbsp olive oil
Finely grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
1 cup of packed basil leaves
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1. To make basil oil, blanch basil leaves in boiling water for about 10 seconds. Immediately plunge leaves in to iced water and drain, ensuring that all leaves are cool.
2. In a blender, blend basil leaves, salt and olive oil until all leaves are fully blender. The basil oil will be quite frothy, allow it to sit for at least 30 mins.
3. Cook pasta according to packet instructions in a large pot of salted water.
4. While the pasta is cooking, gently sauté cherry tomatoes in olive oil until they are just slightly soft (2-3 mins). Remove from heat.
5. Drain pasta, toss through cherry tomatoes and 4 tbsp of the basil oil. Season with salt and pepper and serve topped with goat’s curd and grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
* Note – the basil oil can be refrigerated for up to a week prior to use, just remove the oil from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature prior to using.