Spinach, Lemon and Garlic Penne Rigate with Torn Burrata

The weather has turned and most of my morning was spent finding an umbrella that isn't broken. My mood changes with the weather and I have to choose to feel positive and happy, it's sometime easier to be blue. We spent the last few months trying to buy a house and the sale came crashing down this weekend. I'm sure it's' for the best', 'wasn't meant to be' and all that but for now, this particular situation is frustrating. 

I cooked this pasta for my boys to help keep the morale up. The best recipes seem to be those that have relatively few ingredients; simple dishes that ensure each element are seen and tasted. This is one of those dishes. The pasta is enriched with modest egg yolks, stirred into the pasta and cooked in residual heat before wilted spinach, hot toasted hazelnuts and creamy burrata are added. Enjoy.


Prep Time – 10 minutes
Cook Time – 14 minutes

Serves 2-3

2 tbsp olive oil
2 large egg yolks
Zest of 1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
75g young leaf spinach, large stalks removed and leaves roughly shredded
200g Penne Rigate
50g halzelnuts, roughly chopped
200g burrata, torn
Plenty of salt and black pepper

1.  In a small bowl lightly mix the olive oil, egg yolks, lemon zest and crushed garlic.
2. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and drop the spinach in. Simmer for 1-2 minutes before removing from the pan with a large draining spoon or tongs. Squeeze out the excess water. Set the blanched spinach aside for a few minutes while you cook the pasta.
3. Make sure the water returns to a simmer before adding the penne to the pot and simmering for 8-10 minutes until al dente. Working quickly, drain and return to the pan with the wilted spinach. Pour in the olive oil and egg yolk sauce and stir to combine, allowing the egg yolks to cook in the residual heat.
4. Meanwhile heat a dry frying pan over a high heat. Add the whole hazelnuts and allow to toast for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and roughly chop.
5. Toss half the hazelnuts into the spinach pasta with half of the torn burrata. Season and stir to combine.
6. Serve immediately, garnished with the remaining burrata and chopped hazelnuts. 

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