Like many of you i'm sure, i'm a HUGE Nigella fan! I love her enthusiasm and passion for food, her honest gluttony, and the way she can make even something like mashed potato sexy! My husband loves her, i think mainly because of how sexy she is, and how she cooks simply with big portions (his kind of cooking/eating).
Over the years, I always come back to my favourite failsafe Nigella recipes - her Welsh Rarebit cheese muffins and her chocolate lime baked cheesecake make regular appearances at Chateau Bishop...they are crowd pleasers that taste amazing, and most importantly - look like i've slaved over a hot stove for hours, when realistically its more likely to have been 20-30 mins work!
So I was as excited as the rest of you when her new show 'Nigellissima' (website found here) aired on BBC2 on 24th September.
Was I alone in being flabbergasted at just how amazing she looks? I've heard a few jokes and comments about people not trusting a 'skinny' Nigella, but I have to say, she looks awesome - and I'd love to know her secret? Hard work in the gym? Calorie counting? Lots of sex? (Please say the last one Nige!)
Her new series hasn't disappointed - and one of the recipes that caught our eye was her Chocolate Pasta with Butterscotch Sauce & toasted Pecans. Pasta for dessert? I know.....weird right? But so weird that I just HAD to try it. I scoured the internet for this chocolate pasta - and found only one reputable shop online which stocked it at £5 per 250g - so I firmly established this dish would be a 'treat' rather than a weekly recipe. (Find the pasta here at Hotel Chocolat)
So, to go with the pasta she creates a butterscotch sauce (butter, dark brown sugar & double cream) which in my opinion should be a feather in any pudding-lovers cap! This sauce is so easy to make & is a delicious, luxurious, silky, mega sweet sauce which would perfectly top any cake or ice cream for miles around!
So here goes....we assembled our ingredients last night & got cooking!
Chocolate Pasta from Hotel Chocolat
Please find the recipe on the BBC website here
Nigella was right, it was very quick and easy to make... in a nutshell - cook the pasta in salted boiling water, toast the pecans in dry pan for a few mins & remove, make sauce, drain pasta = mix everything together! Its that easy!
And once you've got over the fact that you're eating pasta for pudding, it really is quite delicious!
I loved her way of selling the recipe on the show:
"You know when you can't decide whether you need pasta or chocolate for dinner?... Now you can have both!"
cue Nigella tucking in! (I heart her!)
The pasta smells and tastes beautifully chocolatey without being sweet (so you could use this pasta for a main course with say venison?) and then the sauce gives it this extremely sweet, rich, buttery flavour, with the crunch and caramel taste of the pecans - the combination is to die for! We swirled a smidgen of fresh double cream over ours (as Nigella suggests) and that added a lovely luxurious creaminess, and cut through the extreme sweet of the sauce.
We ate ours as a dinner replacement - (we had some toast...that doesn't count right?) ... but you could easily cook the same amount for 4, serve in smaller dishes, and eat a main course first. The portion size we made (100g pasta) was very filling for two - the sauce is so rich (this is no bad thing!) but I certainly couldn't have eaten any more of it.
All in all I'm very glad we tried it - although I'm still not 100% over eating pasta for pudding, it was certainly worth the effort of ordering in the pasta as a special treat.
Who else will be brave enough to try it?
Love & Sparkles
The instagram shot!
All hail skinny Nigella ;-)
Picture from The Radio Times 22-18 September 2012