Recipe: Karen Martini’s spaghetti with ginger, tomato & ricotta

Spaghetti with ginger, tomato and parsley. Recipe from Salads and Vegetables by Karen Martini, published by Plum, RRP $39.99. Photo: Supplied

Spaghetti with ginger, tomato and parsley. Recipe from Salads and Vegetables by Karen Martini, published by Plum, RRP $39.99. Photo: Supplied

 

This is a bit of a tribute to a River Café recipe from their book, Green – a bit of a classic vegetable-centred cookbook.

It’s somewhat unusual to think of a ginger and tomato sauce for pasta, but apparently (according to Ruth and Rose) ginger has been used in Italy since Roman times, and often with pasta – though probably only in the south.

My brain struggled to accept this combination at first, but once you get over your mental pigeonholing of the flavour profile, it really works. The ginger mellows into the tomato and adds a sort of peppery warmth that’s really appealing.

Spaghetti with ginger, tomato & ricotta

Serves 4

  • 120 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 120 g ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 red bird’s eye chillies, finely sliced
  • 3 large oxheart tomatoes, diced (or ½ can diced tomatoes)
  • salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • 500 g spaghetti
  • 2 handfuls of flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 handfuls of mint leaves, chopped
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 250 g ricotta

 

Heat a wide saucepan or large frying pan over medium heat. Add about
90 ml of oil and fry the garlic, ginger and chilli until fragrant, being careful
not to burn them. Add the tomato, season with salt and pepper and
cook, stirring frequently, for about 25 minutes until they have broken
down and the flavours are harmonious.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until just
al dente – keep the pasta on the firm side, as you want to cook it more
in the sauce so it takes up the flavours.

Add the herbs to the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the cooking water. Add the pasta to
the pan with a splash of the water and the lemon juice. Cook for about
2 minutes, tossing through frequently, until the sauce starts to cling to
the pasta – just add more pasta water if it’s too dry. Once the sauce is
glossy and emulsified, add the remaining oil, check the seasoning and
serve immediately with the ricotta crumbled over the top.
Ginger | The profile of ginger varies greatly depending on when it was
harvested. Young ginger has pale and tender skin and is more fragrant
and less hot and sharply flavoured than late-harvested ginger. Both have
the same essential flavour, but they will yield slightly different results.

Recipe from Salads and Vegetables by Karen Martini, published by Plum, RRP $39.99.

Recipe from Salads and Vegetables by Karen Martini, published by Plum, RRP $39.99.

Recipe from Salads and Vegetables by Karen Martini, published by Plum, RRP $39.99.

 

 

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