Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Linguine in a Creme Fraiche, Sorrel, Capers & Garlic Sauce (Quick Recipe Series)

Herbs, preferably fresh, can enliven the flavour of a dish during the winter, for example, if they are minced finely and stirred into spaetzle batter or into creamy potato soup. Sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and chives can be coaxed into providing vibrant bounty all through cold weather either by their being potted and placed on a sunny window sill/under plant lights or overwintered in the garden by covering them snugly with horticultural fleece. Also more and more markets are stocking an enticing variety of fresh herbs all year round.

Our sorrel has had a banner year, poking up early in February and staying fresh and green all through a normally wilting summer to its present lushness so it was a matter just of going out to the garden and harvesting a big handful.

Sorrel is noted for 'melting' when sauteed in butter so it features nicely in a fast and easy pasta sauce.

A chiffonade is a good way to prepare sorrel. Wash and dry the leaves. Stack them in a pile and trim off the stems. Roll up like a cigar and slice.

makes one meal-sized serving, can be multiplied if desired

  • Linguine, bunch measuring about 2.5 cm/1 inch in diameter, cooked until almost tender
  • Crème fraîche, 4 T
  • Sorrel, 1 large handful (reserve a few for garnishing)
  • Capers, drained, 2-3 tsp (if you love capers as much as I do, then the full dose is for you)
  • Butter, sweet, 1 T
  • Garlic clove, large, 1, peeled & minced
  • Pasta cooking water, 6-8 T
  • Parmesan, freshly grated, 2-3 T
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Saute the garlic briefly in the melted butter, add the chiffonade of sorrel, and gently cook for a few minutes or until the leaves have turned an olive green and have started to disintegrate.

Add the capers, crème fraîche, and the pasta water. Give it all a good stirring.

Toss in the pasta to finish its cooking and stir for a minute or two over medium heat until the sauce thickens, coating each strand. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Serve hot with the grated Parmesan. This dish turned out to be Alfredo Fettuccine's cousin who while singing the lemony praises of sorrel was whisked off to paradise to be enthroned on a buttery cloud which was anointed with garlic, laced with sour cream, seeded with piquant capers, and graced with cheese. Savoury salvation, indeed. Of the super supper kind.

Dirac the kitten after successfully completing his course of How Not To Hog Michelle's Computer Screen has developed a routine. He at first politely keeps to the right of my screen while maintaining a sentinel stance...

...which after five minutes or so morphs into a drowsy demeanor...

...ending with, well, complete abandonment of his guardian duties.

À la prochaine!


Sorrel as an ingredient in Gözleme, a Turkish stuffed bread
Sorrel as an ingredient in Minestrone
Sorrel added to scrambled eggs