Friday, February 19, 2010

Tricolore Spring

Recently (last night, that is) I made up a dish; actually it is hard to say whether I made it up or just had it stuck in the back of my & cookbook-friendly mind, or what. But here it is; it is relatively quick, contains almost no chopping besides the broccoli and I think it tastes quite fine.

Tricolore Spring

You will need some spaghetti; some pancetta and/or bacon lardons (I had a bit of both left, so I used both); some broccoli and garlic and chili.

First, get a pan and put some olive oil in - not too much, just enough for the pancetta/bacon to get going. Slice up some garlic - finely but you don't have to be too fine about it, and put that in with the meat. At the same time, break up a few pieces of broccoli into little florets, as much as you will think you will need. (I used half a head for two people.) Once the broccoli is done steaming (I think it's best steamed, as opposed to boiled), put it in the pan and get the water boiling (new fresh water of course, if you have been using a colander) again for the pasta. Carefully slice up some red chili and put in as much as you like, keeping in mind that a little goes a long way. Add more olive oil and stir, until the individual ingredients become a whole; this takes about as long as the water takes to boil. Then make your spaghetti and once it is done add it to the pan, carefully pulling and pushing the pasta around, stirring it well. Serve with fresh Parmesan on top. The broccoli is the real star here, though the garlic, which will naturally hide at the bottom of the pan (we only got ours at the end) will be quite glorious as well.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Haphazard Toasted Ravioli

It is about time I wrote here, really; I am continuing, haphazardly, to collect recipes and books (I got Jamie Oliver's Cook With Jamie for my birthday and a week later was generously given his Jamie At Home a week later) and in my slow way try things out. One of the things I love to do is make brown butter and use some kind of ravioli for the pasta; one of the problems of serving pasta is keeping it warm. How to keep it warm in the pan? Well, keep the heat on, of course! The stovetop has 2 (not warm enough), 3 (still not warm enough, but getting there) and 4, which is nice and toasty indeed. So last night, because I was serving garlic bread and salad as well, I didn't put all the ravioli on the plate - so I kept the ravioli on 4 and we ate at our regular pace (not slow but not that fast either). So by the time we got to the last serving, the ravioli (little sack-shaped ones, to be precise) were rather browned and toasty and crisp and most excellent. (Yes, I know the solution to this would be to heat up the plates in the first place, but I always forget and can't tell if I can heat them in the microwave or not, which doesn't exactly help.)

In the meantime, I am thinking of making a new dessert based on a stunning chocolate-dipped lime cookie - some nice Green & Blacks chocolate ice cream with some fresh lime juice and maybe even some zest on it as well. I know that sounds odd but the combination is like seeing a new flower; a real pleasure. (Also, I now have a French orange plastic mouli for legumes and can't wait to make something with it; Elizabeth David, I feel, would be wondering what took me so long, but c'est ca and I hope to continue with my charity shop finds.)