Sometimes the most delicious things come from a few simple things put together well. Get the flavours right and you end up with something special. Special enough to put up for a dinner party dish with friends.
This little dish is packed full of flavour and is the perfect winter dish to serve as a starter or even a main. To top it off, it's also light on the pocket. A small amount of time and detail is needed to execute it well, but it is definitely achievable for every home cook.
If you haven't ever tasted quail eggs you'll find they are fantastic. They can be a little difficult to find, so if you cannot get a hold of them, simply substitute for the smallest chicken eggs available.
You will be surprised at how impressive this dish looks when it is put together. With only a few ingredients it comes together like a real restaurant dish.
Give it a go for your next dinner party. Even the non-vegetarians will love it!
CREAMY ROASTED GARLIC LINGUINE with THYME and QUAIL EGGS
Serves 6-8 as a starter and 4 as a main
1 bulb of garlic, whole
Salt and cracked pepper
300ml thickened cream
1 packet of linguine (500g)
12 quail eggs (or 6-8 small chicken eggs)
1. Roasted Garlic (Steps 1, 5-6) - Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Meanwhile, place the full bulb of garlic on a square of foil. Season with the salt and pepper, place a few sprigs of thyme and a drizzle of olive oil over the top and wrap tightly in the foil. Place in the oven and roast for 30-40 minutes, or until the centre of the garlic cloves are soft and squishy. Turn the oven off, remove the garlic and set aside to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the flesh of the garlic cloves from the bulb into a dish and set aside for later.
2. Quail Eggs (Steps 2, 5-6) - Boil water in a saucepan. When the water is boiling lower the eggs gently into the water using a spoon to ensure they are less likely to break. Boil the eggs for 2 minutes. Immediately remove and place in cold water to stop the cooking process. This helps to eliminate over cooked quail eggs. Peel the quail eggs and set aside. This can be a delicate process, so take your time and be gentle. Place the peeled eggs in a bowl and set aside.
3. Linguine (Steps 3, 5-6) - cook the linguine until it is al dente and set aside.
4. Creamy Roasted Garlic Linguine with Thyme and Quail Eggs (Steps 4-6) - Heat a pot or large pan on medium heat. While this is heating, fill your kettle with water and boil it. This water will be poured over the quail eggs to reheat them quickly before you add them to the dish. Leave the hot water in the jug until you have to use it.
5. When the pot or pan is heated, add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the roasted garlic and stir to reheat and make a soft paste. Add a few spring of thyme (to flavour the sauce) and the cream. Continue stirring to mix the garlic thoroughly with the cream and cook until it begins to bubble. When this happens turn the heat off, season and remove the thyme sprigs. Add some additional leaves from 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme and stir through the sauce. Add the linguine to the sauce and toss it to coat evenly. Serve the pasta onto the desired amount of serving dishes.
6. Pour the hot water from the kettle over the bowl of quail eggs. Wait 30 seconds and drain carefully. Slice the eggs and place evenly over the dishes of linguine. Finish the dish with some thyme and season.
Serve and enjoy!
A creamy linguine like this will go perfectly with a chardonnay. I know I keep saying it, but give the new world chardonnays a go. Sift through the wine HERE to find some great chardonnays. When you find a good one you'll see how fabulously they work with creamy meals. A range of pinot bianco wines are available at Dan Murphy's for a reasonable price and would be beautiful too.
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