You’d know by now my love for Nori & Sun-dried Tomatoes. They offer a deeply salty & instant savoury punch. I wanted to create a simple pasta recipe with ingredients you’d already have in your fridge, maybe you have a half of a scotch bonnet knocking around, and a half jar of sun-dried tomatoes in your fridge? Buying a fun pasta shape really makes this feel more special on a mid-week evening. I used Mafaldine, but you can use anything for this. Perfect if a friend comes around and you want to knock something out in under 30 minutes that delivers on flavour!
One Brown Onion
6 Bottom Mushrooms
6 Cloves Garlic
6 Sundried Tomatoes
1/2 Scotch Bonnet (deseeded)
1 teaspoon Dried or Fresh Thyme
3 Tablespoons Of Tomato Paste
2 teaspoon Teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 teaspoon Balsamic Glaze
Two sheets of Nori
1 1/2 cup - 2 cup reserved Pasta Water
Zest of one Lemon to finish
Salt & Pepper To Taste
300g Fancy Pasta
Start by prepping the base of the sauce. Cut onion into thinly sliced half moons, set aside. Then chop the mushrooms & Sun-dried Tomatoes into small chunks and keep running your knife through it so it’s as fine as possible, Want to to become like a paste. Set aside in a small bowl. Finally finely chop 6 cloves of garlic & scotch bonnet, mincing them together till they’re as fine as possible, and add them to the bowl with the mushrooms & sun-dried tomatoes.
In a heavy bottom frying pan or cast iron, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, bring to a medium heat and then add the onions. Fry until soften with a big pinch of salt for 6-8 minutes. Add the friend thyme and fry again for a minute or so. Now add the flavour paste, frying till fragrant for another 2-3 minutes till everything has softened. Adding a touch more olive oil if needed, with another pinch of salt. Now add the tomato paste and allow to cook out for another 2-3 minutes.
At this point get a big pot of water on the go for the pasta. Season pasta water well with salt. Cook your pasta al-dente. Stirring the onions and the the base of the sauce as it cooks. At the stage, add the balsamic vinegar, balsamic glaze & the using scissors cut the sheets of nori into the pan, allow to cook for a bit longer, till the pasta is done.
When the pasta is ready, save 2 cups of pasta water for the sauce.
Start by adding 1 cup of the pasta water, bring the saucepan to a slightly higher heat and stir whilst allowing it to thicken, add pasta and adjust seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Allow the sauce to really cook into the pasta, for 1-2 minutes adjusting with a little bit more pasta water if needed, stirring constantly. Finish with a knob of butter or extra glog of olive oil and allow to emulsify into the sauce for another 30 seconds. Pull from the heat and then finish with some freshly grated lemon zest using a microplane.
Serve with vegan parm or toasted pine-nuts! Enjoy with a glass of wine, a side of greens/preferred veg.