This recipe is full of wonderful flavours with a huge Italian influence. We are so lucky with the new ingredients widely available to us from different countries in our supermarkets and farmers markets. Pine nuts and sun-blushed tomatoes are such a joy to use, giving texture and flavour. If you are doubling this recipe you can make the cheese paste in a processor if preferred.

Serves 4–6
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 12 minutes
Not suitable for freezing

50 g (2 oz) pine nuts
250 g (9 oz) baby spinach, washed and coarsely chopped
150 g (5 oz) dolcelatte cheese
1–2 cloves garlic, crushed
150 ml (5 fl oz) single cream
225 g (8 oz) sun-blushed tomatoes, coarsely chopped
350 g (12 oz) spaghetti
salt and pepper
freshly grated nutmeg

Dry-fry the pine nuts in a non-stick frying pan until golden all over – watch them like a hawk! Set aside.

Wilt the spinach in a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Mash the cheese and garlic together in a bowl and gradually mix in the cream to make a paste, until just blended. Add the cheese paste and sun-blushed tomatoes to the spinach and stir until hot.

Boil the spaghetti in a large pan of salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes, or according to the instructions on the packet. Drain well.

Add the spaghetti to the frying pan, and stir briefly over a high heat. Season with black pepper and nutmeg, and turn into a warmed serving dish. Sprinkle the warm pine nuts over the top and serve at once.

To cook in the AGA
Fry in a large non-stick frying pan on the boiling plate. Boil the spaghetti in salted boiling water on the boiling plate.

Sun-blushed tomatoes are a huge improvement on the sun-dried ones – the colour, texture and flavour are all better. In different supermarkets they are called different things – sun-ripened, half-blushed, sun-softened – but they are all similar.

A secret from our kitchen
Mary and I invented this for one of our workshop days. We had big debates about which pasta to use – Mary would use penne but I prefer spaghetti. You can, of course, use whichever you like as either is delicious! Either way it’s very popular and looks stunning too!

This receipe is from my book Secrets from a Country Kitchen