And here’s what I did with the half carton of passata!
I go Morris dancing on a Tuesday (yes, really – I do), and I prefer to eat at lunchtime on those days. Still not done any shopping, so …
Chopped onion and garlic, softened off in olive oil. Added a packet of pancetta cubes and a little dried chilli. Bunged in the passata, and rised the carton with some cider (well, it was in the fridge and needed using up!). Let it cook down while we rustled up some pasta.
Stirred in fresh basil leaves at the end, and smothered in grated parmesan. Very nice.
We normally have this without the pancetta, but I’m trying to cut my carbs at the moment so I added some meat.
I make this in a frying pan with a lid.
Chop and onion and some garlic, and fry it off in olive oil. Add the pancetta (I used cubes – you could use bacon too) at this point. When the onion is soft, add quite a lot of shredded cabbage; anything does – I’ve made this with hispi, with white, with savoy … they all work well.
Stir it all around, then add either some water – about maybe 1/2″ at the bottom of the pan – or a splash of wine. We used about half a glass of home made pineapple wine last night! Season to taste, put a lid on and leave it for about 10 minutes.
Then add some mozzarella – I usually just cube a whole one – and stir it around till the cheese melts.
In the bad old days, I would stir the pasta into this, but last night it went in separately, as Pete had a “normal” helping, and I just had a spoonful. I’ve discovered cabbage is great for bulking up if you’re avoiding carbs.
Last night’s supper was already planned, insofar as I knew we needed to use up some of the veg in the fridge, and we’d been eating rice for a few days, so it was time for pasta for a change.
I chopped up a fat leek, a red romano pepper, and several cloves of garlic, and set them to sauté down in some olive oil. Then I went to answer the door, as someone had just knocked. It was a friend from up the road, who wanted to watch himself on the local news (he doesn’t have a television). So we offered him supper.
I added another red pepper, and some strips of pancetta, while Pete grated up lots of parmesan. Boiled some big pasta shells, chopped some sage from the garden, put it all into the pan and served in bowls. Instant supper, and very nice.
Well, we thought so!
A bag of broad beans arrived in the veg box on Friday; we like ’em, but you don’t get many once you’ve removed them from the huge furry pods.
I simmered them for about ten minutes, then drained, blanched, and put in a big bowl. I fried off a pack of pancetta cubes and put them to drain on some kitchen roll, then fried some cold potatoes from the fridge in the fat, and drained them similarly. Then they went into the bowl with a tin of tuna and a dressing made from the juice of half a lemon (that was in the fridge in clingfilm), a little walnut oil, and a generous teaspoon of dijon mustard.
Lovely summer food.
Or, I suppose, a sort of goulash 🙂 The transfer of contents from one freezer to another has brought forth some nice things. There’s a whole Gressingham duck defrosting for today’s Easter feast, and there was also a couple of nice pieces of belly pork, and some uncooked chorizo sausages.
I skinned a piece of belly pork, cut it into chunks, and fried it in olive oil in batches, until the pieces were crispy. Into the same oil went a packet of pancetta cubes, which were fried for a few minutes, then I added a chopped onion, some garlic, and four chorizo sausages, cut into slices. Oh, and some cumin seeds, and a couple of teaspoons of smoked paprika. Fried these gently until the onions were translucent, then added a tin of tomatoes, a glass or so of red wine, and salt and black pepper.
Tipped everything into the slow cooker, added some haricot beans (which I had soaked and cooked yesterday), and waited six hours.
Served it with rice – lovely.
This is one of our favourite Things To Do With Cabbage – it’s incredibly quick to make, and very nice to eat.
Shred half a cabbage – doesn’t matter what sort; this works with savoy, with hispi, with white, with green. Chop an onion, and a couple of cloves of garlic if you like – sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.
I also used some cubed pancetta on this occasion, but it’s not essential either – it’s just as nice without.
Sauté the onion, and the optional garlic, in some olive oil until it’s soft – use a shallow pan with a lid – then add the cabbage, and keep stirring until it has started to soften. Give it a good sprinkling of black pepper, then put a lid on it and cook for, oh, ten minutes. Or more if you like your cabbage more soggy, or indeed less if you like it crunchier. Keep an eye on it – depending on the cabbage you might need to add a little water. Or I’ve added white wine, or vermouth.
While this is going on cook some pasta – tagliatelle works well. Drain it, rinse it, add it to the pan, and hurl in one mozzarella cut into cubes. Stir this all around until the cheese starts to melt, then decant into bowls and scoff.