Pasta, cheap and delicious

Well, I’m back after a lengthy hiatus, but nothing’s changed: Still on the cheap side, but hopefully tasty nonetheless

And a good use of any fish/shellfish stock we had lying around.  I boiled it down with dill and then stirred in mascarpone to make a sauce

Just lardons fired with courgettes, tossed into some pasta which has been slathered with the slightly fishy, pink sauce

Then a dash of dried chilli flakes and a sprinkle of parmesan

Nicer with a lemon on top

Italian Night

Tommy Waters and Barlow came round for a bite after football.

Italian night, old fashioned and simple.  And not a bit of meat in sight.

Caesar salad, ricotta with green beans and tuna, aubergine and yellow courgette fried and covered in lemon.

Also, some giant tomato Bruschetta that were devoured before we could put a camera to them.

Then the simplest pasta ever, which happens to be incredibly more-ish.   For now, let’s just call it Pasta Prado – much more to come soon.

There is a deficiency of food photos, because there was an excess of red wine and conversations.

Yay for friendship.

Leek and Dolcelatte Risotto. Asparagus.

These photos look like faded old menu shots, which I quite like

It’s a simple, quick risotto

Sweat buttered leeks and asparagus butt-ends with thyme

Add the rice and coat in the butter

Ladle in hot stock until the rice is al dente

Then finish by melting some hunks of strong but silky Dolcelatte into the risotto and adding chives

Served with asparagus spears fried in lemon zest on top

Really comforting, strong and creamy with a fresh, zesty asparagus to cut through

Ravioli a piacere

“A piacere” means play as you go, or improvise in Italian.

For this ravioli, my accomplice left the pork shoulder (the main element of the filling) at my house (we were cooking at her house).

This is sort of my fault, as we only moved between houses because I lost the keys to my house, but only realised at my front door.

So that meant arriving at house number two at 9 o’clock, with pasta still to make, work still to do and no filling.

Pasta was made a lightning speed

I raided the window pots for herbs – parsley and sage and rocket

I grated the left over ossau-iraty cheese from the weekend

I bound it all up with mascarpone

Then we made our little parcels together – all odds and sods, and had a giggle

Cooked for 2 minutes and then tossed in a brown sage butter, served over leaves

They were a triumph

A day that should have been full of arguments and frustration ended up full of herbs, cheese and happiness

That’s an even bigger triumph