Life & Style

Hot Date

If you’re looking for chic culinary inspo, Nina Parker is your girl. Fans include Donatella Versace and Stormzy, she has her own line of cookbooks and ‘Saucy’ comestibles, and with @antoninaparker she defines the phrase ‘Instagram feed’. Of course, the proof is in the pasta, as this recipe (the first in a series for Collagerie) reveals…

A Note From Nina

“When I need an easy but epic dinner party dish, I turn to my recipe for green mac ’n’ cheese with burrata and smoked garlic oil. I use gluten-free pasta and a rich spinach sauce instead of the classic béchamel, to make it a little lighter. You can add whichever greens you like, but asparagus is in season now so makes the perfect choice, while smoked garlic can be found in good grocers and adds a wonderful crunch to the topping. Enjoy!”

Green Mac ’N’ Cheese

Serves 4

Ingredients for the mac ’n’ cheese

250g GF macaroni (I used Rummo Mezzi Rigatoni) 200g asparagus, blanched in boiled water for 3 mins, (half sliced) 150g peas 20g unsalted butter, diced 2 balls burrata (about 150g each)

Green sauce

2 tbsp olive oil 1 leek, chopped 200g spinach 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes 20g fresh basil 350ml hot vegetable stock 45g Grana Padano, grated (plus extra for topping) A few gratings of nutmeg A squeeze of lemon juice (optional) salt and pepper

Garlic oil

6 tbsp olive oil 5 smoked garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Cooking Instructions

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees and lightly grease a nine-inch baking tray with olive oil. Cook the pasta until al dente and drain.

Now set a large frying pan to a medium-to-high heat and add two spoons of olive oil followed by the chopped leak. Fry for three minutes, then add the spinach to wilt down for three minutes. Pour in the vegetable stock, chilli, basil, salt and pepper. Stir to combine then pour into a blender and mix until smooth. Add in the grated cheese, lemon juice, nutmeg and season to taste.

Now add the pasta, peas and sliced asparagus to the baking tray and mix in the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Grate more cheese on top, dot the diced butter around and bake for 30 minutes.

Set a small frying pan to a medium heat and add the ingredients for the garlic oil. Fry gently for three minutes to crisp up.

Serve the pasta with torn burrata, leftover asparagus and garlic oil.

Eat straight away!