Sunday, October 18, 2015

Barilla Recipe: Fusilli with Seavory Blueswimmer Crab, Sundried Tomato Pesto & Zucchini Sauce

I don't cook at home as much as I like to so cooking skills, techniques and efficiency in the kitchen is probably something I could get better at. But I can follow simple instructions and so cleared my Saturday and tried a recipe by Barilla Australia's Executive Chef Andrea Tranchero, which was prepared in the lead up to the Sydney Italian Festival starting Wednesday to offer guests something different and also to showcase Barilla's delicious Sundried Tomato Pesto that can be used next time you cook pasta for lunch or dinner. Seriously, if I can do it, anybody can do it and the outcome of what you create is delicious. It's the Fusilli with Seavory Blueswimmer Crab, Sundried Tomato Pesto & Zucchini Sauce.

I also opened a bottle of beautiful Italian wine, Amorino, a Castorani wine that's full bodied, smooth and elegant given to me by Chef Dario D'Agostino and his partner Ly Nguyen whom I met in Melbourne's Long Story Short cafe. It's an excellent pairing with this pasta dish.

I must admit I didn't know what fusilli pasta was but when I saw it I thought "Oh, yes - I've eaten plenty of that pasta before!". I knew what it was but didn't know its name. Fusilli is a spiral or corkscrew shaped dried pasta.  This is a great pasta if you are dining with people you don't know that well because its not a 'messy type of pasta to eat'. If I'm at business lunches, it's probably obvious but I never order spaghetti if I'm with a client and this type of pasta would be idea if it was on the menu. The same deal if I was to entertain people at home I don't know all that well but want to get to know better so talking is a priority over eating.

I had no shortage of chefs that I know from restaurants that I bump into during the week giving me advice about how to go about this recipe even though I have step by step instructions supplied by Barilla. One of the restaurant owners I know from a restaurant I popped into (Khoa from One Clementine) last week said with fusilli pasta you need to use a light sauce and that's because the hollowness created by the spirals is good to capture and hold onto the sauces. After creating it I can see why Barilla used their Sundried Tomato Pesto with this dish. The spirals held the sauce well and just the right quantity for the fusilli pasta in the Barilla box. The flavours in this dish linger on the tongue, making you craving more. The anchovies, chillies and garlic really give this dish the body of flavour in this dish, a real kick. Try it, it's now my favourite pasta dish!

All Barilla pasta and sauces should be available at your local Woolworths or Coles supermarkets. Enjoy, here's the full recipe.

500g Barilla Fusilli 
1 454g tin Seavory Blue Swimmer Crab Claw
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved 
1 jar Barilla Sundried Tomato Pesto
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 fresh chilli, sliced
3 anchovy fillets, in oil 
10 fresh basil leaves, torn
150ml Extra Virgin olive oil
8 zucchini
Sea salt (for water) 

Serves 6 people
• In a medium frypan, gently heat 1/3 of the oil, add garlic, anchovies and chilli and cook for 2 minutes. Add a small ladle of water and cook together for 5 minutes, then keep to one side.
• Finely slice 4 zucchini into 4 cm batons and keep to one the side.
• For the zucchini sauce, cut the remaining zucchini into 1 cm slices and cook in salted boiling water until soft. Drain, add to a blender with 80ml of olive oil and blitz until soft and smooth. Season to taste.
• In a bowl, mix the Seavory crab meat, cherry tomatoes and Barilla Sundried Tomato pesto as you would a salad.
• Meanwhile, bring plenty of water to the boil. When boiling, add rock salt (7g salt to 1 lt of water). Drop the pasta into the salted water and stir. Cook according to the time on the box.
• Four minutes before the pasta is cooked, add the zucchini batons and cook for 2 minutes.
• Drain the pasta and zucchini batons and toss in to the fry pan with the garlic, anchovies and chilli. Add the crab salad and combine together away from the heat.
• To serve, pour a layer of green zucchini sauce on the plate and add the pasta on top.
• Serve with a drizzle of Extra Virgin olive oil and fresh basil.

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