Hed Chef: Mentaiko pasta
For a quick yet luxurious dish that is easy to rustle up, try mentaiko pasta.
Mentaiko is spicy cured pollock roe, but I find it more savoury than spicy.
Being crazy about shiso (perilla), I have added more of it in my take on this Japanese fusion dish. You can do without shiso and use nori strips as a garnish, but it isn't quite the same.
Shiso has a herbaceous nutty mintiness that helps cut through the creaminess and intensify both flavour and texture.
This is one dish that requires very little washing up afterwards. Serve it up with a side salad and you are set for a delectable fuss-free meal.
INGREDIENTS (SERVES ONE)
- 2 shiso leaves
- 2 litres of water
- 2 tsp fine salt
- 85g angel hair pasta
- 1 tbsp thickened cream
- 45g mentaiko (marinated pollock roe), removed from the sac
- 10g finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Pinch of sea salt
- 10 nori strips
- 3g Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings
1. Rinse and dry the shiso leaves.
2. Place the leaves one on top of the other. Roll them up and slice finely. Set aside.
3. Bring 2 litres of water to boil in a saucepan. Add 2 teaspoon of salt.
4. Let water reach boiling point again and add pasta. Boil according to packet instructions. It is usually around 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off fire.
5. Pour pasta out into a colander to drain off water. Place pasta back into pot.
6. In a bowl, mix thickened cream with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
7. Add this to the pasta and stir through.
8. Add in three-quarters of the mentaiko and toss through. Sprinkle on the pinch of sea salt and toss briefly.
9. Transfer the pasta onto a plate. Place the remaining mentaiko on top. Garnish with finely sliced shiso, nori strips and Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings.
10. Serve immediately.