Humans in hej hej - Hercules Noble
Introducing Hercules Noble, your go to guy for sourdough, dinner parties and events. Herc shared his simple cherry tomato spaghetti recipe with us and we talked to him about his plans for summer and fashion faux pas.
You've chosen the Kingpin Short Sleeve Shirt in Blue. What is it about this item that you like in particular?
I absolutely love all shades of blue. Most peoples wardrobe staples are black, but mine are blue, which I admit can sometimes make things a little complicated, but i find a way to make it work. (At least I think I do.) The Kingpin Short Sleeve Shirt is in my eyes the perfect summer shirt. A playful colour with a square fit. I’ll usually go for an oversized fit and wear a Large. For me, I just feel it brings a relaxed appearance and works well for those hot summer days. Let's be honest, there are too many white linen shirts around, why not try and add a bit of colour back into our summer fits?
Where will you be spending your summer?
WE’RE ABSOLUTELY DESPERATE TO GET TO OUR BATCH UP NORTH! My family owns a beautiful off grid piece of land on the Karikari Peninsula. Spring is usually a very important time of year, as we’re doing all sorts of work on the property, like preparing the garden for summer and working on our shipping containers for which we live out of. So it's a shame that we haven’t been able to make it up there for the last few months, but we completely understand the circumstances. Excitement is really building! I come from a family of creatives, so mum and dad have led the way in showing how they can turn a very basic, skeleton like shipping container, into a cosy little home. The containers act as more of a base, while the living spaces are all outdoors, so a lot a linen is worn.
Tell us about your simple cherry tomato spaghetti recipe? And any ingredient highlights.
This is one of the simplest pasta dishes. But after making this delightful cherry tomato sauce, I just haven’t been able to go back to tinned tomatoes. It just isn’t the same. Tomato, chilli, garlic, basil, caper, Parmesan, olive oil, plenty of pepper and top quality spaghetti. Chefs are getting more and more creative these days, and I’m in awe of a lot of them, however every now and then we need a reminder that often the simple things are best.
Your favourite dish and where would you like to eat it?
That’s such a tough question. I have a few favourites for different occasions. If I’m meeting up with friends I love going to Satya Chai Lounge on k road or Sandringham. In my humble opinion, Sammy is the King of Indian street food, at least in Auckland anyway. They provide a wiiiiiiiide selection of local and foreign craft beers as well as lots of funky Indian sharing dishes. It’s almost like Indian style tapas i guess. Food made to be shared. The menu hasn’t changed in years, doesn’t need to.
And then there’s a very basic dish that we probably make almost everyday at Brodie’s (our batch). Simply, whatever fish we catch that day (snapper or kahawai) tossed in a little curry powder and seared over an open fire in a crazy hot cast iron hot plate. Finished with some garlic, parsley and a squeeze of lemon. Then we add some chopped up kale from the garden and cook for a minute or so. So simple, but there’s something about catching the fish, growing the veggies, and cooking outdoors that seems to take it to another level.
Your worst fashion faux pas?
Damn, there must have been a few in my time. I’m no fashion expert, but I fear there must have been a decent amount of times over recent years where I’ve paired some dodgy colour combos. I mean, I bleached my hair over lockdown for a bit of fun, but I’ve realised I’m starting to look like a narcissistic tiktok’er. I guess sometimes I get carried away! I think I went through a brief period where I slicked back my hair, and boy, that wasn’t the goods. Works for some, but not me. I used to wear those drop tail shirts in my final year of school….Also, as an 18 or 19 year old, I was starting to grow a fluffy ass beard…. And then my dad convinced me to shave my weak moustache and leave the rest of the (slightly stronger) beard. So I had a fluffy chinstrap beard for a week or so. I look back at some of those pictures…. So horrid. But I guess In recent years I’ve started to care less about what people think, and just wear what i feel comfortable in. And to be honest, I think my dress sense is pretty fun and unique.
Simple cherry tomato spaghetti by Hercules Noble
- 500g cherry tomatoes (ideally mixed colours), chopped in half
- 3 or 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- Handful of basil leaves or leaves from one supermarket plant
- 3 or 4 tbsp of Good quality extra virgin olive oil (very important)
- 35g capers
- 1 medium hot chilli, deseeded & thinly sliced
- Fine & freshly grated parmesan (you be the judge)
- Freshly grated pepper
- Handful of parsley, thinly chopped
- Your favourite pasta/spaghetti
- Get a big pot of water boiling on the stove. Give it a good couple of tablespoons of salt.
- Warm some plates in the oven or microwave.
- Now while you wait for the water to boil, start your sauce. Get a nice medium sized pan on a medium heat and add your olive oil. We don’t want the oil to get too hot here, otherwise it may burn. Add your garlic & chilli. They should sizzle very lightly. If they sizzle furiously, turn down the heat and add some more oil to lower the heat. Cook and stir occasionally for roughly 2 minutes or until the garlic just starts to brown.
- At this point, add your basil leaves. Be careful, as they may spit a little. Stir for another minute or so before adding in your cherry tomatoes. Season with salt & pepper
- Cook for another 5 minutes or until the tomatoes have softened and released their juices, but haven’t turned to mush. Add your capers.
- By now your water should be boiling so drop your pasta in and pop a lid on to keep the heat in. If the packet says 10 minutes, you cook it for 9. We want it to be super al dente, as we’re going to finish cooking the spaghetti in the sauce.
- Once your spaghetti has been cooking for 9 minutes, using tongs, drag the spaghetti from your pot to your pan. Drop in your parmesan. Grate in a hefty amount of black pepper and stir. Keep on the heat for another minute or two as the pasta finishes off cooking. Mix in your parsley. Taste for seasoning. If your sauce is a bit dry, just add a splash of cooking water. But if you’ve used enough cherry tomatoes there should be plenty of liquid from them to emulsify with the parmesan and create one hell of a sauce.
- Plate up. Garnish with a final grating of parmesan.