This is one of my favourite recipes in my cookbook and is the recipe I decided to use in the making of this food film. Aside form being very tasty, it has lots of steps which make for the perfect length of video.
Simon joins Grinder after many years as a sought after tabletop photographer, working in the UK and South Africa on global food and beverage brands including: McDonalds, Guinness, Heineken, Woolworths, Amstel, Windhoek, Ceres, Liquifruit & Appletizer.
Grinder Films Executive Producer David Rowley adds “Simon has the energy and vision to constantly innovate new visual styles. He is a breath of fresh air to the world of tabletop directing and we are really excited to have him in our team.”
Grinder Films is Southern Africa’s only dedicated tabletop studio and specialists in food, beverage and product cinematography and photography. Established in 2009 by David Rowley, Grinder operates from its custom-built studio in Cape Town and currently represents 9 specialist tabletop directors in both South African and international markets.
My Food styling profile on the Grinder site can be viewed here.
My delightful food styling assistant, Kristy Snell – a highly talented person and creator of the beautiful food blog: Food-Monger.com, is the in-camera specialist in this film.
This sauce is a refreshing change from the ubiquitous tomato or cream-based varieties. I’ve included bacon and crispy prosciutto in this recipe, but it can just as easily be left out and replaced with a sprinkling of toasted pumpkin seeds to make it a vegetarian dish.
I like the bacon to remain crispy, so I cook it beforehand and add it again right at the end, half mixed into the sauce and half scattered over the top for a lovely crunchy texture.
I use shiitake mushrooms because I love their slightly chewy texture and meaty flavour, but any mushrooms will work well. I tend to avoid the white-button ones, though, as they don’t have as much flavour as other varieties.
- 1 medium butternut, peeled and diced (about 4 heaped cups)
- olive oil for drizzling • salt • freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices prosciutto or Parma ham (optional)
- 150g mascarpone
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 100g smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
- 120g shiitake or brown mushrooms, sliced
- 2t chopped fresh thyme
- 300g fresh tagliatelle or 250g dry pasta
- freshly grated Parmesan, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200°C, place the butternut on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, coating well. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until caramelised and tender.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool. While the oven is still hot, place the prosciutto or Parma ham (if using) on a baking tray and roast for 5 to 10 minutes, or until crispy and curled. Set aside.
- Blend the butternut, mascarpone and stock in a food processor until smooth. Adjust the seasoning.
- Heat a nonstick frying pan and fry the bacon until crispy, then drain on kitchen paper.
- Using the same pan, sauté the mushrooms until they just start to caramelise (about 4 minutes). Add the thyme and cook for another minute or two. Add the butternut mixture to the mushrooms and stir through.
- Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente and drain,reserving some of the cooking liquid. Add the cooked pasta and half the bacon to the butternut and stir. If the sauce is a bit thick, add about 60ml of the pasta water to thin it out.
- Scatter over the remaining bacon bits.
- Serve with fresh Parmesan and the crispy prosciutto.
This is the image I took of the recipe for my book:
I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.
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