An impressive title for an equally impressive recipe! Legend has it that before battle Hercules would stride into his kitchen and whip up a plate of this pasta to fuel his heroics. Since it was practically ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta, it meant he never missed the start of battle and firmly secured his place in the history books. Admittedly it’s difficult to imagine the son of Zeus in a pinny, but you wouldn’t catch us making fun of him.
Flat Leaf Parsley
Hard Cheese (Italian Style)(ContainsMilk)
Put a large pot of water on to boil with ¼ tsp of salt. Once it comes to a rapid boil (i.e. lots of bubbles!) add the spaghetti and cook for 10 mins or until ‘al dente’, remembering to save some pasta water for your sauce in step 5 Tip: It’s ‘al dente’ once cooked through but with a tiny bit of firmness in the middle.
Put a pan on medium-high heat without any oil. Once hot add the pine nuts and brown them off on all sides then remove. Tip: Watch your nuts like a hungry squirrel as the moment you turn your back they’ll burn!
Peel and finely dice the onion and the garlic. Chop the chilli in half lengthways and remove the seeds (if you don’t like too much spice). Now finely dice the chilli and roughly chop the parsley. Tip: Don’t stick your finger in your eye after chopping chilli. #Ouch!
Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and cook for 5 mins or until soft. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a further 2 mins. Tip: Only use a small amount of the chilli if you prefer your dishes mild.
Add the peas and 3 tbsp of the pasta water. Allow to bubble away for 5 mins or until the peas are cooked.
Stir through half the tub of crème fraîche, half the grated Italian cheese and the toasted pine nuts. Add salt to taste and a few good grinds of pepper. Finally add a squeeze of lemon juice.
Drain the spaghetti and add to the sauce, mix well and serve with the chopped parsley and remaining Italian cheese over the top.