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Posts Tagged ‘pasta’

Tonight in the Vicarage we had a favourite tea. Even the Engineer, the fussiest eater in the family, showed some definite enthusiasm when he saw what we were eating. It’s a great way to stretch a small pack of sausages out for several people, and is so simple it’s almost not a proper recipe. But here you are anyway. It might be a way to spin out some stuff you have in the cupboard. I’m no Jack Monroe (loving her #JackMonroesLockdownLarder on Twitter just now, where she makes recipes from people’s random pantry ingredients), but this is in the same spirit – made with everyday ingredients that you might just have in.

Ingredients

  • An onion, chopped
  • Garlic cloves – two or more as you like – also chopped
  • 1/2 tspn chilli flakes
  • 1 heaped tspn fennel seeds (these are great, but I know you might not have them in, so don’t worry if you don’t)
  •  Pack of sausages (there were six of them this evening to feed four of us) – each sausage cut into three or four pieces
  • Tin of tomatoes
  • Tomato puree (if you have it – I didn’t this evening)
  • Tin of beans – I used white kidney beans (cannellini), but borlotti, flageolet or red kidney beans would be fine, and if you don’t have beans you don’t have to use them

This is pretty straightforward – put a little oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic then the chilli and fennel and cook gently for a few minutes until the onion is translucent and the garlic golden. Then add the chopped sausages, like mini meatballs. I often use sausages from the freezer for this recipe and have found that they are much easier to cut into chunks if they are not entirely defrosted. Brown the sausages and then add the tin of tomatoes, a couple of tablespoons of tomato puree and the tin of beans, including the liquid in the tin. Add another half tin of water, together with salt and pepper, and bring the sauce to the boil. Then cover the pan and simmer for about half an hour.

We usually have this with penne pasta – it’s a pretty chunky sauce, and serve with a good grating of parmesan or other strong cheese. The chilli and fennel give an extra zing to the flavour. You could stretch it to six people if you added an extra tin of tomatoes or beans. Happy eating from your cupboards and freezers!

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This week I’ve not got a baking recipe for you. Instead I thought I’d share a Vicarage supper recipe. For Sunday lunch this week I cooked a gammon joint (I really must blog that recipe sometime soon aswell). The Vicar had bought the gammon, and it was on offer. Being a Scotsman, therefore, he arrived with a joint that was larger than usual. We love gammon and very much enjoyed our lunch, but there were lots of leftovers.

Normally, I’ll use leftover gammon for sandwiches and a pasta bake with cheese sauce. But I didn’t feel like a pasta bake and there was far too much left for sandwiches. So I did what all social media junkies do: I tweeted my request for recipes for leftover gammon. And bingo! Spanish hotpot, rissoles and  many other great suggestions. One of the dishes I was reminded that I could make was a spaghetti carbonara. I often find recipes a bit of a pain when they are for four, as we almost never have an easy number eating. So I’ve organised this carbonara recipe per person:

Ingredients

Per adult, you will need (I used 5 times this recipe for 3 adults and 3 kids):

  • 1 egg yolk (look at it as an opportunity to make meringues)
  • 2tbspns double cream and 2 tbspns creme fraiche (or other proportion to make a total of 60ml if you’ve not got those in the right quantities)
  • 40g grated parmesan (or emmental, gruyere, mature cheddar)
  • 70g cubed gammon, bacon or pancetta
  • 1tbspn dry vermouth (or white wine, or leave it out altogether)
  • 10g/1tbspn butter
  • chopped parsley, black pepper to garnish

First put the spaghetti on to cook.

Then mix the cream and creme fraiche with the egg yolk and cheese. I mix it in a jug so it’s ready to pour out when the spaghetti is cooked.

Then fry the bacon/gammon until sizzling and crispy. Add the vermouth to the bacon and wait until the liquid has reduced and you have a good saucey consistency.

Then all you do is wait for the spaghetti to be cooked. Drain the cooked pasta and return it to the saucepan. Add the bacon with its sauce and the butter. Put it on a low heat and add the egg mixture. Gently stir until the sauce has warmed up. Serve with parsley and black pepper (or not, if your kids are fussy or you’ve run out).

Enjoy with a glass of wine. Or you might have to wait until after the trek down the M5 to piano lessons.

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