A SURPRISING (AND FAST!) RADISH LEAF PASTA SAUCE!
For 4 - 6 servings
For the radish leaf sauce: Leaves from two bunches of radishes, washed well
• 2 cloves garlic
• 60 g / 1/2 cup pine nuts (or sliced almonds or walnuts or sunflower seeds)
• 1 tomato, cut into chunks • 60 g / 1/2 cup grated
• Salt and pepper
• 500 g / 1 pound thick,
short pasta, such as penne For additions: 1 onion, sliced thin; 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin; 1 zucchini, sliced in sticks; 1 chorizo, cut into chunks; 4 tomatoes, cut into chunks We had an unexpected staff dinner on Techniboat, needed pronto, and what did we have on hand? What we had, was radish leaves! Leftovers from radishes from a crudité platter. I had used the leaves before, in soup, and it was good. Balthus said, ‘why not?’
What you get is a radish pesto, pretty much, with a distinctive and agreeable, slightly peppery taste. While the pasta boiled to al dente doneness, I quickly sautéed some sliced onions, bell peppers, chorizo, zucchini sticks (also from the crudité platter!), cubed fresh tomatoes, and some pine nuts. I recommend you throw in any choice leftovers your fridge. Sliced ham would be good in place of the chorizo.
The sauce you can make whenever you have radish leaves - never throw them out! But the additions make a memorable pasta dish that you can never quite repeat.
Place the radish leaves, garlic, pine nuts, tomato, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil in a blender or tall cup for an immersion blender, with a little salt and pepper. Blend until the mixture is smooth.
Boil the pasta following the package instructions. While the pasta is cooking, heat a frying pan with a little olive oil and sauté the onions, peppers and zucchini over high heat until they begin to brown and caramelize. Add the chorizo and tomatoes and cook, stirring, for three or four minutes. Add the radish sauce and stir over medium heat for two minutes. Toss with the hot pasta and serve.