Justine Larbalestier’s pasta with salmon roe & chervil

The prospect of more novels from the delightful Justine Larbalestier is one of the few consolations available to my Harry Potter-obsessed stepdaughter, A., now that the Rowling franchise has closed up shop. I don’t know what the follow-up to the Magic or Madness Trilogy will be, but recent blog posts suggest Larbalestier’s stranded in New York, working on something big. (Of course it could be a scholarly book on speculative fiction; check out the February Bookslut interview on, among other things, The Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction.)

Larbalestier and her husband — Scott Westerfeld, another A. favorite — usually spend winters in her native Sydney. Below she contributes a recipe that reminds her of home. U.S. readers may wish to consult the weights converter.

This recipe for pasta with salmon roe and chervil comes from my mum. Don’t know where she got it, but we’ve both been making it for several years now. Everytime I eat it I feel like I’m back in Sydney and it’s summer and the cicadas are screaming outside, the rainbow lorikeets are zooming from tree to tree, and we’re winning at the cricket.

Because I’m stuck in the dread winter of the Northern Hemisphere I’ve been making it a lot and wishing I was home.

500g of angel hair pasta
1 third of a cup good olive oil
2 teaspoons of grated lemon rind
1 quarter cup lemon juice
half cup chopped fresh chives
half cup fresh chervil leaves
100g salmon roe
salt and pepper

Cook pasta till almost tender and drain well. Return pasta to pan then add oil and toss gently. Toss the pastas with lemon rind and juice, herbs and half the roe. Season to taste.

Can be served hot or cooled to room temperature. (If serving cool add a little extra olive oil if needed.) Serve topped with remaining roe.

All those measurements are a bit hand waving. I tend to use more like a cup each of chives and chervil. I also use way more salmon roe. When I can’t find chervil I substitute dill.

Enjoy. It’s addictively yummy.


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