Pappardelle with Spiced Butter – 101 Cookbooks

I spent the better part of the afternoon paging through Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook, Plenty. I’ve been a regular reader of his New Vegetarian column in the guardian.co.uk, and discovered the first Ottolenghi cookbook published by Ebury (2008) while traveling years ago. It has been a love affair with these recipes from the start.

Pappardelle with Spiced Butter

I decided to do a riff on Yotam’s Saffron Tagliatelle with Spiced Butter. It’s a pasta dish tossed with vibrant Moroccan-inspired spice butter made from a blend of eight spices – ginger, sweet paprika, cinnamon, coriander, turmeric, black pepper, and chile pepper two ways. I do a version here adding asparagus to the mix to work a seasonal vegetable onto the plate. Later in the year, broccoli, sautéed cabbage, and/or roasted winter squash could all be great alternatives. 

Fresh vs. Dried Pasta

Yotam uses fresh, home-made saffron tagliatelle. Wanting to throw together something quick, I opted for a good-quality dried pappardelle I had on hand. You can go either way. Making this with homemade pappardelle would be an absolute treat.
tangles of dried pappardelle pasta
assortment of spices on a plate

Let’s talk spices…

On the spice front, you definitely get a good amount of heat from the cayenne pepper. If you tend to be sensitive scale back a bit, and then add more to your liking as you get on with the recipe. Pro-tip: double up on the spice blend. I’ve been using the extra in all sorts of things – from eggs to vinaigrettes. This recipe makes quite a good amount of the spiced butter. Use as much or as little of it as you like. You can always reserve any leftover for drizzling on potatoes, crepes, vegetables, etc. later in the week.

pappardelle with spiced butter in a serving bowl

Pappardelle with Spiced Butter: Variations

A good number of you have enjoyed this recipe and left notes for future cooks suggesting successful variations. Here are a few that caught my attention.

  • Rosalind noted, “my boyfriend and I just made this with green peas instead of asparagus and toasted sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts and it WORKED. Wonderful!”
  • Francoise cooked it on Friday evening. “It was beautiful, very satisfying and something different! I adopted it a little and it worked very well: used broccoli instead of asparagus, fresh ginger instead of powder, did not have turmeric and instead of buying the powder stuff simply omitted it. Found some beautiful fresh pappardelle from a good shop. Used a little cream cheese instead of cream, and somehow the combination of flavors were spot on.”
  • And for anytime you’re feeling cost-conscious, Kristina mentions, “I made an inexpensive version of this dish tonight. Pine nuts were $8, asparagus expensive and woody-so I subbed in slivered almonds toasted and 10 oz. baby spinach wilted in. Everything else kept the same. I ended up using almost all of the spiced butter to get the dish as spicy as I prefer so next time I’d use 1/2 stick of butter with the current amounts of spice and use it all! The saffron salt and the mint and parsley added just the right touch!”

pappardelle with spiced butter served on a wood table

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