“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
"Winter is dead.”
~AA Milne, when we were very young
NOTE: I am away at the moment helping my mother with her treatment for lung cancer. I have set up a few posts to post whilst I am away as a special surprise. Some are new and some are reposts of old favourites that you may have forgotten, or if you are a new reader may not even have seen. I'll be back at the end of May, but in the meantime . . . Enjoy!
PS - I will only have sporadic internet use, so if you ask a question and I don't get back to you . . . it's not that I don't want to. It just may take me a while.
Wednesday, 14 November 2012
I have never made any secret of my fondness for Nigel Slater's cooking. If I was a millionaire I would tempt him to come and cook with me, but only if he let me help. He cooks like I want to eat. He is the most un-pretentious down to earth cook you could ever ask for. Simple ingredients, simple methods . . . fabulous taste, end of.
As you know I treated myself to his second volume of his kitchen diaries a month or so back and I just love it. Just look at that beautifully splodged cover . . . that is how all of my best handwritten recipes look . . . all splodgy and loved . . . that's how you can tell they are good, and that they are loved . . . and it is the same with this book . . . it's stogged full of recipes which are really, really good, and loveable too . . .
The Toddster went into town today, leaving me on my own, which I don't mind really. It's nice to be able to enjoy time together . . . but it's nice to be able to enjoy time on your own too. I knew he would be treating himself to a nice hot bowl of soup and a roll at the Market Cafe for his lunch, so I decided to get together with Nigel and cook myself an equally as delicious lunch.
And you know what that means when I cook when the Toddster is away . . . I cook PASTA! Coz he hates it . . . and I love it, and I just got to have it sometimes. Besides I had a packet of fresh spaghetti in the fridge that was going to soon expire. Today was my chance to use it. Don't you just love fresh pasta? I know! It's soooooo good!
Nigel never disappoints. I had only been looking through his gorgeous book for a few minutes when I spied exactly what I wanted to make, right there on page 416 near the bottom. It wasn't even a recipe, so much as it was an idea . . . a few sentences describing what he had made for his supper . . . but it sounded very, very good . . .
I love that he is not afraid to just grab a few simple ingredients that he has on hand and then throw them together in a simple way to create a fabulous meal for one or two. Just look at all of that creamy deliciousness sitting in that bowl! Wowsa!
I had absolutely everything I needed with the exception of Pine Nuts. I used spaghetti because that is what I had . . . he used cappelletti. They are two different animals . . . but it worked.
Don't look at me like that Nigel . . . ok . . . I know there is a big difference between little tortellini types of pasta and spaghetti . . . I do. But stay with me here . . . it gets better . . . I promise.
I used salt and pepper cashews instead of pine nuts . . . coz that is what I had to hand . . .
I had a brief moment wondering what Nigel would think . . . I mean first I used spaghetti instead of Cappelletti . . . and now cashew nuts? Salt and Pepper Cashew nuts!
See . . . I've already intrigued him . . . I'm cooking like he does and he's impressed. I've taken what I had to hand and I've used it in a very delicious way. He wants a taste . . . I know he does!
Anytime Nigel . . . any time.
This was rich and creamy . . . with a fabulous mix of flavours and textures . . . including that moreish crunch from the cashew nuts. I mean "in for a penny in for a pound." There's already cream . . , so why NOT cashews I say! Why not indeed!
Oh wow, wouldn't that be so cool to cook for Nigel Slater . . . I wonder what I would make for him?? Hmmm . . . . I'll have to give that some more thought I think . . .
*Spaghetti with a Basil and Caper Sauce*
Serves 2 generously
Quick, delicious and as easy as boiling a pot of water.
220g of fresh pasta (5 ounces)
a large pot of lightly salted boiling water
a few good handfuls of fresh basil leaves
a clove of fresh garlic, peeled
1 generous teaspoon of Dijon mustard
2 TBS white wine vinegar
1 tsp capers (I like the ones in vinegar, but you can use salted ones if you want.
just rinse them well. I also like to use the non pareil ones, or tiny ones)
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil (may need more)
2 to 3 TBS cream
fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Toasted pine nuts, or broken salt and pepper roasted cashews
Put the basil leaves, garlic, mustard, vinegar, capers, and the olive oil in the blender or the beaker which came with you stick blender. Blitz until smooth adding more olive oil if need be to make thick, yet pourable mixture. Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook your spaghetti al dente according to your package directions. Drain well. Return to the pot and toss together with the sauce. Divide between two pasta bowls and sprinkle with some toasted pine nuts or cashews. Enjoy!
I ate it all. *burp*