I trust you all had marvellous weekends. The boyfriend and I travelled to Kent (via a 2hr tour of the shittiest bits of South-East London, traffic was bloody awful) to do some local touristing and visit his brand new niece. Margate is crap, except for a little bit called the Old Town which is the opposite of crap. Broadstairs seemed nice but we didn’t get out to look around it, although we stayed in Dickins’ actual Bleak House (staffed by two appropriately Dickensian staff of thin frame and beaky nose) on the Broadstairs coast.
New niece was new. And cute.
Anyway I knew I’d not have done any cooking this weekend and so, like the massive genius I am I have kept behind a pasta thingy I made last week. It’s another Jamie Oliver – the fat-tongued elf might be frustrating in about a thousand ways but his recipes mostly taste ace.
He calls this blokey pasta but that’s disingenuous. It’s just nice pasta.
• 2 heaped teaspoons fennel seeds – I didn’t have any so used a good teaspoon of caraway seeds instead – quite subtle in the finished dish, yet interestingly strong in the leftovers the next day
• 2 dried red chillies, crumbled – I used half a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
• olive oil
• 600g good-quality coarse Italian or Cumberland sausages – I was running late home from work (GO TO HELL SOUTHERN TRAINS!) so ran into Tesco, which I DESPISE, and got the best sausages they had. Not that great.
• 1 tablespoon dried oregano
• a wineglass of white wine
• zest and juice of 1 lemon – I used half – it was quite enough, and I say that as a lemon-lover
• 500g good-quality fusilli or penne
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• a couple of knobs of butter
• a handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
• a small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped – we didn’t use but I should’ve.
Put some water onto boil, salted, for the fusilli.
Take the skins off the sausages. If I’d used sausages from the lovely butcher, which I was too late to get to (GO TO HELL SOUTHERN TRAINS), this’d not be half as disgusting as it was doing it to Tesco’s. Either way it’s never going to be a fun job. Do it anyway.
Break up the sausages and throw into an oiled frypan, using your spoon to bash them up further, kind of getting them to mince stage. This will continue to look foul for some time.
Throw in your caraway/fennel seeds, as well as this much chilli.
Keep cooking till the sausage starts to get nice caramelly brown bits. Basically instead of looking rank it’ll start to look kind of ok. Should take about ten minutes.
Pour in the wine, and the dried oregano (pronounced orrie-gah-no, yes?), and simmer it away till it’s reduced by about half. This bit is pleasing.
Obviously the pasta water will have boiled by now and you’ll have thrown in the fusilli to cook.
Add the lemon zest and juice to the mince stuff.
While the mince stuff is reducing its liquid and the pasta is boiling grate your cheese and hack off a couple of chunks of butter to use in a short while.
Drain your pasta (don’t drain every bloody drop of water off it, that does no good – it’s fine to be dampish, it’ll help the sauce) and throw it back into the saucepan.
Tip in the mince mixture, add the cheese and butter, and stir through. Your boyfriend will do this bit. I find he turns up in the kitchen when the fun bit begins.
Voila. It’s yum. As you can see it could’ve done with a bit of parsley for freshness and colour, but overall, as a LADY, I found this pasta to be quite good. In your face, blokes.
Below is the dog, begging pointlessly. We leave for Oz in a week and I am already sad at leaving her behind. Like, really sad. I have been discussing the likelihood of Skyping her with the dogsitter. *straight face*