> The Beesley Buzz: Respect The Pasta challenge 3: Re-respecting the Pasta!

Respect The Pasta challenge 3: Re-respecting the Pasta!

Fettuccine, meaning 'little ribbons' is one of 600 types of pasta. That's right, there are over 600 types of pasta! With that many types of pasta - it deserves to be respected. No wonder ASK Italian are on a mission to get people to #Respect The Pasta.

This the third of our challenges with ASK Italian. Our task is to recreate a fettuccine recipe from the ASK Italian cookbook. The ASK Italian cookbook is available in ASK Italian restaurants and also online. ASK Italian will donate £4 of the retail price of every ASK Italian cookbook sold in their restaurants and a minimum of £1 of the retail price of every ASK Italian cookbook sold through bookshops and other third party retailers to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity

The ASK Italian cookbook combines favourite dishes from ASK Italian restaurants as well as recipes created by Chef Theo Randall and author Carla Capalbo. I love the beautiful colour photos in the recipe book. They provide real inspiration for trying out the dishes.

The fresh springtime colours of the Fettuccine con Verdure recipe jumped out at me so that's the recipe we've chosen to cook from the recipe book. 

We made a few tiny tweaks to the recipe; we used purple sprouting broccoli instead of spinach (as that's what arrived in my veg box this week and we thought it would go well in this dish), we omitted the chilli (so the kids could enjoy it too) and where the recipe calls for 120ml water, I reduced the amount to 40ml as all that lovely veg contains sufficient moisture without having to add much more. Knowing that we could also add some of the pasta water at the end (as per Theo Randall's pasta rules) meant that I knew I could get away with using less water during cooking.

The tapenade really makes this recipe taste amazing, but be aware that the amount in the recipe makes loads so you can either make less or keep it in the fridge to use up in other dishes. I actually froze the remainder of ours and plan to use it in stuffed chicken breasts, as an alternative to tomato paste on a pizza base, and as an alternative to pesto.

With these bright fresh springtime colours we braved the outdoors and decided to eat al fresco for the first time this year!

You can find our first challenge here and our second challenge here if  you want to remind yourself of the rules for cooking pasta. You'll find the recipe for Fettuccine Con Verdure below if you want to make this dish yourself. Have fun, enjoy and remember to #RespectThePasta!

Fettuccine con Verdure (serves 4-6)
70g green beans (topped, tailed and cut in half)
3 tbsp ASK Italian virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
240g (2 medium) courgettes cut into 1cm batons
220g Peas
100g sun-dried tomatoes in oil (drained and cut into large pieces)
80g baby spinach (we subsituted this for purple sprouting broccoli)
10g (1 medium) red chilli, de-seeded and cut into rings (we omitted this)
120ml water (we used 40 ml)
20g (about 25) fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
500g Non-egg fettuccine (or 900g if using fresh egg fettuccine)
80g black olive tapenade (see below)
Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

1. Blanch the green beans by dropping them into rapidly boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain, refresh under cold water and set aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a saucepan over a low heat. Add the spinach leaves and wilt slowly, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper and set aside. Bring a large pan of salted water to the rolling boil for the pasta.
3. Heat the remainder of the oil in a large frying pan over a low heat. Add the chopped garlic and saute lightly. Don't let it burn.
4. Add the courgettes and saute gently for 3-4 minutes until they start to soften. Stir in the peas, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, green beans, chilli and water and cook over a medium heat for a further 4 minutes. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm while the pasta cooks.
5. Drop the fettuccine into the boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions (remember that egg pasta will cook faster than non-egg pasta). Using a mug, scoop out a cupful of the pasta cooking water and set aside.
6. Drain the fettuccine and turn them into the pan with the sauce. Cook together over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring to blend the sauce with the noodles. If the sauce seems dry, add a little of the reserved pasta cooking water.
7. Divide the pasta into hot bowls and place a spoonful of tapenade on top of each dish. Serve immediately.

Black Olive Tapenade 
(makes 450g / 22 Tablespoons)
Tapenade ingredients

250g black olives (pitted and finely chopped)
1 tbsp small capers (drained and finely chopped)
2 garlic cloves (crushed with a little sea salt)
10g fresh basil leaves (finely chopped)
zest and juice of half a lemon
185ml ASK Italian Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper.

Put the olives, capers, garlic, basil and lemon zest into a bowl and, using a hand blender, blend until you have a smooth paste. Add the lemon juice and the olive oil and mix well. Season with black pepper to taste.

Tapenade keeps well in the fridge for up to one month in an air-tight container.

Disclosure: We were sent a 500g pack of ASK Italian Fettuccine and the ASK Italian cookbook, from which this recipe is reproduced with permission. You can find out more about #RespectThePasta by following ASK Italian on Twitter and on Facebook


  1. I go on holiday and your blog is all new! Like it! Also like the recipe x

  2. I love the idea of these challenges. I do love pasta with lots of green veg - always looks so summery #lab

  3. Mmmm this looks and sounds lovely. I don't eat much pasta but think i will be in the summer x

  4. This looks so delicious! and the olive tapenade sounds devine. #respecthepasta

  5. I love fettucine, this recipe sounds so delicous, good to hear the tapenade can be kept so long in the fridge. I can't wait to eat outside too, but we need some garden furniture first!


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