Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Crisp noodle cake with basil cream

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 2
From Nigel Slater: Eating Together
Nigel Slater gets imaginative with pasta, frying it as a block and serving it with a spicy cream sauce.


  1. Heat the double cream in a lidded saucepan over a gentle heat. Add the ancho chillies and whole lemon peel. Stud the onion half with the cloves and add it to the pan.

  2. Bring the mixture gently to a simmer. Just as it starts to bubble, turn off the heat, cover the pan with the lid and leave it on the hob to infuse for 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, cook the linguine in a pan of boiling, salted water as per the packet instructions. Drain well into a colander and set aside for 10 minutes, until the cooked pasta is dry and sticky.

  4. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the grated parmesan, smoked garlic and cracked black pepper until well combined. Stir in the linguine, mixing well.

  5. Heat half of the oil in a small, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Gather up the pasta and cheese mixture into a ball using your hands, then press it down into the frying pan and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until crisp and golden-brown on both sides but soft in the middle.

  6. When the sauce has infused, blend it in a food processor with the remaining oil until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve, then stir the basil into the strained sauce.

  7. To serve, slice the noodle cake into 8 portions. Serve in bowls with the sauce alongside.


  • 600ml/20fl oz double cream
  • 40g/1½oz dried ancho chillies (mild Mexican chilli pepper, available from larger supermarkets), left whole
  • 1 lemon, whole peeled zest only
  • ½ onion, skin on
  • 4 cloves
  • 150g/5oz linguine
  • 200g/7oz parmesan, grated
  • 4 smoked garlic cloves (available from larger supermarkets), finely chopped
  • 2 tsp cracked black peppercorns
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 25g/1oz fresh basil leaves

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Crisp noodle cake with basil cream

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