Just before Christmas, I moseyed down to Woking for a bowl of pasta and a
bottle of wine with Marco Pierre White.
You might consider the setting to be an odd one, but I can tell you it didn’t
feel remotely surreal. With the UK collapsing like a mad trifle once again,
it felt utterly normal.
Woking may not be the most culturally stimulating place on the planet but I was also there to see my pal Luciano, Marco’s son.
Luciano has managed to establish a brilliant group of affordable Italian
restaurants, in the middle of a global pandemic, and in provincial locations
in need of fine pasta – sites in Dorchester, Dorset, and Devon have launched in the past 12 months. Bath, Oxford, and Cambridge might follow in 2022.
Here’s hoping they do, because Luciano’s got a good thing going. A tidy main course, with a beer or a glass of wine, is £14.50. There are exceptions – Sophia Loren’s gorgonzola dolce gnocchi is one and the truffle pasta is another, but both are still under £20, and both taste excellent.
I had lobster and prawn tagliolini because Marco told me to.
The dish is outside of the deal entirely – it’s closer to £30 – but that is a positive.
Luciano sources much of his seafood from trusted suppliers in Devon and
Cornwall, and he piles plates high with handmade tagliolini, rich with butter – and a dose of chilli for heat – tender pickled shrimps and chunks of lobster.
Everything rests in a bisque and a little pomodoro sauce, and should
probably be eaten with quite a lot of rosé.
300g tagliolini pasta
600g cooked lobster cooked (you can use less)
300g pickled/cooked shrimps
250ml pomodoro sauce (can be homemade or if not, Mutti is a good brand to use)
50ml lobster stock (again, homemade for proficient cooks, otherwise Waitrose No.1 shellfish stock works well)
Chives and micro cress for garnish
- Drop your pasta into boiling water.
- Heat the pomodoro sauce and the bisque together with the fresh and sun dried tomatoes on a medium heat (add chilli if desired).
- When the pasta is cooked, add the cooked lobster and shrimps to the sauce, drain the pasta (though not too much), and mix together loosely.
- Plate the pasta, and sprinkle on finely chopped chives and micro cress.