There's room for all sorts of recipes: complex ones with long lists of ingredients, and simple ones which are quick and easy to make. I've just eaten this flavoursome sausage and mushroom tagliatelle for lunch, and it's given me a real energy boost. It's fairly cheap too.
First I fried some sausage in a little olive oil. You need a tasty, coarse-textured one, preferably spicy — I used Welsh Dragon, a mixture of pork, leek and chilli (thank you my wonderful butcher). As always, the final result of the dish will depend on the quality and appropriateness of the contents. Soon I added English streaky bacon (pancetta would be ideal), then mushrooms, pine nuts, garlic and chilli. Meanwhile I boiled some fresh egg tagliatelle in salted water (a good-quality dried pasta would do equally as well). After deglazing with a little balsamic vinegar (wine even better) it was ready to eat. You could scatter some grated Parmesan over, but it's not really necessary. What is important is plenty of black pepper and chopped parsley (in my case straight from the garden!)
I'm always fascinated which ingredients go together, which don't, and how sometimes just adding one or two extra things to a dish can ruin it if you don't know what you're doing (often in my case). For instance, I feel instinctively that lemon or tomato, other classic Italian staples, would detract from this particular plate — yet why? Sometimes less is more — and sometimes more is more, as in a tagine or paella.
I'm very much drawn to the Chinese method of balancing flavours — a Chinese meal ideally incorporating elements of sour, sweet, bitter, pungent and salty. So healthy and satisfying.