Chervil’s a great herb for summer but often overlooked as it’s not widely available. No matter – get planting now as it’s one of the easiest herbs to grow and will be ready for harvesting after only six to eight weeks. It has a lovely mild and subtle taste, a little like parsley, but with a gentle, aniseedy warmth. Delicately flavoured chervil is key in this delicious sauce for pasta – served either alone or with flaked white fish, chicken or mozzarella. It’s also lovely with new potatoes, scrambled eggs and scattered over roasted fennel.
4 ripe tomatoes, skinned and seeds removed
50g sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 garlic clove, crushed
Finely grated zest of 1 lime, plus 2 tbsps juice
150ml extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
250g dried tagliatelle or other ribbon pasta
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve, optional
1 Thinly slice the tomatoes. Finely chop the sun-dried tomatoes. Use the olive oil that the tomatoes came in towards the oil needed for the sauce. Lightly crush the coriander and cumin seeds using a pestle and mortar. Discard tough stalks from the chervil and roughly chop.
2 Mix all the sauce ingredients (everything but the pasta and Parmesan) together in a bowl, adding a little seasoning, and leave to stand until ready to serve.
3 Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta until just tender. While the pasta is cooking tip the sauce into a small saucepan and heat through gently. Lightly drain the pasta and toss with the sauce, adding a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese if liked.
Recipe: Joanna Farrow. Photograph: Myles New
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