Two weeks ago I was whingeing about the cold, lack lustre Spring weather here in Melbourne. Today, as the mid afternoon temperature hits 35°C/95 °F, with a wind speed of over 50kph, I take this all back.
It’s October 6 and the seasonal warnings are ominous. The morning radio warned of a Godzilla El Nino year, and the CFA (Country Fire Authority) has seen plenty of action today. Small grass fires are appearing around the State, some escalating into emergencies. The air smells of smoke: the sky is a strange colour: it is not yet mid Spring.
Below is a screen capture of the radar of the smoke pattern from the fires today.
A few hot days in a row also sees the Spring herbal abundance bolt to the sky. The seeds of these bolters don’t set until summer and then it’s a little too late and too hot for them to germinate. I’m working my way through the tasty greens and will need to sow parsley, dill and silverbeet on the next wet day, greens that are our summer mainstays.
Today’s pasta recipe, before I became totally spooked by the weather.
Orecchiette con Aneta e Ricotta/ Orecchiette with dill and ricotta.
For 4 as a light lunch.
First make the sauce in a food processor
- one large bunch freshly picked dill, woody stems removed
- two garlic cloves
- one handful pine nuts
- 1/2 teas sea salt flakes
- extra virgin olive oil to mix
- 100 gr ricotta.
Add all the dill, garlic, nuts and salt to a food processor and process well, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add the oil slowly to the dill mixture and process until the mixture resembles pesto. Then mix in the ricotta, process to barely mix. Taste for salt.
- Cook 300-400 gr orecchiette pasta according to packet instructions.
- Drain. In a warm mixing bowl, mix the pasta and enough of the herbal sauce to coat well.
- Plate. As this is a mild tasting dish, you may wish to add parmigiana cheese at the table.
Note. By omitting the ricotta, the dill ‘pesto’ makes a lovely sauce for grilled fish or chicken, or could stirred through a pile of cooked white cannelloni or borlotti beans (fagioli scritti).