Fish

Week 54: Orecchiette with Brocolli and Anchovies

So that’s that then, I’ve cooked all three of the recipes in the “three pasta dishes with anchovies” section of the Cupboard Love book. I’m not sure if I cooked it for completeness (such a freaky collector – gotta have the set) or to see how it compared with the really similar (practical identical) Jamie Oliver recipe I made a few weeks back (Broccoli Pasta Chopped Garden Salad  https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/week-48/ )

Probably both. Doubly whammies are hard to resist.

Once again I didn’t have any Orecchiette, so I used the last of the little pasta I used on week 48, but I’m determined to track some down – apparently it’s ideal for brocoli sauces.

To make this for two you will need: 200g orecchiette, unsalted butter, olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, dried crushed chilli, 1/4 nutmeg (I assume he means an actual nutmeg grated up, rather than the ground stuff I had in a jar), 4 sprigs of thyme (just the little leaves, not the stick bit), 1 kg of broccoli (I know. I’m assuming this is the uncut weight – I managed to get 600g off two heads and that was enough), 4 anchovy fillets, juice of half a lemon, and 50g Parmesan.

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First up, cut the broccoli into small florets. I’m not sure how small they need to be, I reckon smaller than I did them. Chop the garlic, grate the nutmeg, and pluck the leaves off your thyme.  Gently heat a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in a wide pan with a lid.  Start some salted water boiling for the pasta.

When the butter/oil is fizzing stir in the garlic, half a teaspoon of chilli flakes, the nutmeg (I substituted a quarter teaspoon of ground nutmeg, I chose this amount because I had no idea how big a nutmeg was), and thyme.

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After minute add the anchovies and broccoli, then add 3 tablespoons of water and a little sea salt. Put the lid on the pan and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes.

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Cook the pasta while the broccoli steams, drain it thoroughly and return it to the pan.  Stir in the broccoli mix, then add the lemon juice and freshly grated Parmesan (I forgot to say, while everything’s cooking grate the Parmesan) give it a stir and serve straight away.

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It was really tasty, I think the anchovies and chillies gave it the edge and the nutmeg a real depth of flavour. I managed to slightly catch the broccoli on the pan, mostly because I was using the flamethrower-ring and it just didn’t go low enough to steam the broccoli – so next time I’ll know! Also, I think I need to cut up the broccoli into smaller bits next time, it might become more like a sauce.

Like a lot of other ‘soft’ recipes I’ve made this really needed something crunchy to go with it, but it wasn’t ‘one-texture-ish’ enough to make it bland… If that makes sense?  With the winter starting to make itself known, this is a simple but delicious comfort dish that only requires a truckload of broccoli and some kitchen cupboard staples! Yum!

 

Cupboard Love by Tom Norrington-Davies (Hodder & Stoughton 2005 ISBN 0 340 83525 5)

cupboard love

Week 48: Broccoli Pasta chopped Garden Salad

I do declare that this was the last salad of the summer – I’d planned on cooking something a bit more hearty as the weekend felt a bit back-endish (which is a Nottinghamshire term for autumnal, nothing rude haha) but my lover came in clutching the Jamie Oliver book and insisted.

It’s as if he wanted me to spend hours cleaning the kitchen…

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Apparently he’d had his eye on this recipe for a while, understandably so – it’s got a very pretty picture 🙂 this recipe is for four, but with a chunk of garlic bread or something it’d do 6 I reckon (with dessert).  To make this you will need 320g dried orecchiette (or similar small pasta) a bunch of fresh basil, a 50g tin of anchovy fillets in oil, a lemon, 2 cloves of garlic, a dried red chilli, 30g Parmesan, a large head of broccoli and 50g pine nuts. For the salad you will need  2 carrots, 1 avocado, 3 ripe tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar  and rocket (Jamie asks for 70g, but I used the whole pack – what else was I going to do with it?)

Now, usually I would type out the method to the letter, but this recipe just doesn’t work well if you try and do it as it is in the book.  Firstly, cut the florets off your broccoli and set them aside for later, then with a box grater grate the stalk and the carrots onto a board (my board got stuck behind the radiator so I used a big serving dish) squeeze and kneed the avocado with your fingers, then squish it out of the skin into the salad (throw away the stone and scrape the skin for any remaining flesh and throw that away too) roughly chop the tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic, season with salt and pepper and then toss it all together with the rocket. This is the salad done so pop it on the table out the way.

Next you need to get the liquidiser out, and then turn the kettle on.  Measure out a tablespoon of the oil from the anchovies and tip it in the liquidiser – then drain the rest of the oil and put the anchovies in the liquidiser with the basil and the juice and zest of the lemon. Squash the garlic (Jamie says use a garlic crusher but I don’t have one) and put it in the liquidiser with a splash of boiling water. Then finely grate the Parmesan and add that, and crumble in a dried chilli. I couldn’t find a dried chilli in the whole of Hammersmith, so I kept sprinkling chilli flakes in until it looked like a chilli-worth – it wasn’t the best plan but it was chilli-ish.

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Turn the liquidiser on and keep on going until it’s smooth. While it’s whizzing away pour boiling water into a pasta pan and salt it; then add the pasta and cook as recommended on the packet.

If you’re serving this up at a glamorous party, tip the pesto (which is what you just made by the magic of the liquidiser) into a serving bowl.  Add the broccoli florets to the pasta when it has about 5 minutes to go. Heat up a little frying pan and toast the pine nuts until they’re golden.

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When the pasta and broccoli are cooked, take a cup full of the water from the pan then drain the rest, then tip the pasta into the pesto (if you’re not using a serving dish return the pasta into the pan and tip the pesto in over the top of it) and coat the pasta. Add a bit of the pan water if the pesto needs loosening at all. Sprinkle the pine nuts over the pasta and grate a bit of extra Parmesan over it too. Then serve.

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Doing it in this order takes slightly longer than 15 minutes, but without the panic and total kitchen destruction.

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It was tasty.  It was like a punchier version of the Pasta alla Genovese I made back on week 30 (https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/week-30-pasta-alla-genovese/ ) I’d definitely make it again, but not for just the two of us – it’s an impossible recipe to cut in half, so we ended up having it two nights in a row (I put half the pesto and salad into the fridge and did fresh pasta and pine nuts on the second night). It was a bit too much two nights in a row, but it’s definitely one for sharing with friends in the garden on a summer evening with a beer.

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Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver (Penguin 2012 ISBN: 978-0-718-15780-7)

jamie 15min

 

Week 43: Mirin-Glazed Salmon

So here’s something I thought I would be able to tell you about much sooner than the forty-third week of the New Recipe Night project… This week, I cooked fish for the first time.  I’ve cooked tinned fish this year, and who can forget Nigel (from week 14: http://wp.me/p42Dr4-1X), but never an actual chunk of fish.

I suppose what attracted me to this was that it looked like an easy introduction into cooking fish, it looked quick to cook and I already had the ingredients.

To make this for 4 you will need: 4 x 125 g pieces of salmon (Nigella wants narrow and tall, rather than wide and flat… the minx) 60 ml (4 tbsp) mirin, 50g soft light brown sugar, 60 ml (4tbsp) soy sauce, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 1-2 spring onions.

I’ve recently got in to sushi rice, and now that I’ve stopped burning it to the pan it’s become a firm favourite.  If you are like me, cruelly without a rice-cooker, you will need to get the rice cooking before you make the marinade (which is probably exactly the same as if you do have one)

Start your rice cooking and then in a bowl or dish that will hold all your bits of salmon, mix the mirin, brown sugar and soy sauce together.  Eight minutes before the rice is due to be cooked, put your fillets into the marinade for 3 minutes for the first side, and 2 for the second.

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Whilst this is marinading, shred the spring onion (to look like the shredded spring onions you get with crispy duck at the Chinese). Then heat a large non-stick frying pan on the hob.  Put the salmon in the pan and cook for 2 minutes, turn over the salmon and add the marinade and cook for another 2 minutes.

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If you’re a genius at timing your rice should be done as you turn the salmon, so while the salmon and marinade are bubbling away, you should be able to drain the rice (if it needs it) and put it out on your serving plates.

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Take the salmon off the heat and dish up on top of the rice.  Then add the rice vinegar to the pan to warm through.  Nigella says that this is supposed to form a dark, sweet and salty glaze for you to pour over the salmon.  I’m not sure what I did wrong, but it turned black and burned onto the pan in a massive puff of fishy smoke.  I spotted some of the smoking goo onto the salmon, it didn’t look very glazed but I sprinkled it with the spring onions all the same.

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The salmon was delicious, perfect with the rice, a little too blackened maybe but I’m pretty sure I had the hob on too high.  Unfortunately the last step to make the glaze burned itself onto my ‘non stick’ pan so hard that it’s taken forever to clean, and still has big black patches that are now part of the pan.  Also, my lover doesn’t really like fish, so it’s not going to become a regular dinner round here, but I still might make it just for me once I’ve worked out what I’m doing.

Fish.  Tick.

 

Nigella Express, by Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus 2007 ISBN 9780701181840)

nigella express

Week 41: Tomatoes and Mozzarella on Brioche

A Summery Cheese based recipe you say?  Sounds like a job for yours truly to add something summery to his culinary repertoire while also making his first recipe from another bookshelf veteran.

I got Matt Tebbutt’s Cooks Country a while back, from either a Jubilee party or my Mum’s village fete.  I’ve flicked through it every month and liked the look of something and then not be able to find the ingredients in London (having said that its hard enough finding a beef tomato in Hammersmith, nevermind a grouse).

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July’s Cheese, Please! is for summery recipes involving cheese, and I think this definitely fits the bill.  To make it for two you will need: 25g salted butter, 2 beef tomatoes, 4 anchovy fillets, 120g creme fresh, 2 balls buffalo mozzarella drained and torn up (see above), some basil (I didn’t) and 2 slices of brioche.

Heat 25g of salted butter in a heavy bottomed frying, and while you’re waiting for the butted to start foaming cut the tomatoes in half, lengthways.  Season them with salt and pepper and then put them in the pan cut side down.

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After 5 minutes turn them and cook for 5 more minutes.  Add the anchovy fillets and mash them up so they dissolve.  Put the brioche under the grill.

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Stir in the creme fresh and bring it to the boil and let it thicken. This step is very important because otherwise it can go quite watery.

Tip in the mozzarella, stir round and serve on the warm brioche.

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I wasn’t sure whether I’d like this, what with not being the world’s biggest fan of tomatoes, but I did!  Definitely a summer dish – its small and quick enough to eat without passing out of heat exhaustion, and filling enough to keep you satisfied.  If only there was a single beef tomato to be had in the whole of W6.  YUM.

Summery cheese based delicious recipe, with cocktail umbrella… check, check and check.

 

Matt Tebbutt Cooks Country, by Matt Tebbutt (Mitchell Beazley 2008, ISBN 978-1-84533-371-3)

matttebbutt

Week 36: Potatoes, Beans, Sardines

So the weather turned hot and within four seconds of it hitting 20 my lover said I should make a salad.  Neither of us are particular fans of lettuce, so I delved into the books and found Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s take on a Tuna Nicoise.

To lob a refreshing salad at four diners you will need: 500g new or salad potatoes (I used Charlottes), 200g French Beans, 120g tin sardine fillets in olive oil, lemon juice (from a lemon), extra virgin olive oil, stoned black peppers, and a hard boiled egg.

If you want you can use locally caught Cornish pilchards (or tinned ones) instead of sardines, and little gem hearts instead of french beans… and the olives and eggs are optional too.

Cut the potatoes into chunks and boil in salted water for 6-10 minutes.  Cut the beans in half and put them in with the potatoes for the last 3-5 minutes so that there’s still a bit of bite in them.  Drain the beans and potatoes and leave them to cool to room temperature.  If you’re adding eggs boil them at the same time as the potatoes.

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Tip the sardines in their oil into a bowl, add a pinch of salt, crack some pepper, and squeeze some lemon juice in and mash it all up into a rough puree.

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Tip the potatoes and beans into the bowl and toss it round so everything’s coated in the fishy oil, and then throw in the hard boiled eggs and olives.  Serve with some salad or maybe some bread (like we did, because I forgot to buy salad)

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This was delicious.  The sardines were much tarter than the usual tuna making the it much more refreshing than a usual tuna nicoise, it was brilliant as a meal in its own right, and I imagine it would be great to have at a barbeque too.

Yum!

 

Hugh’s Three Good Things on a Plate by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Bloomsbury 2012, ISBN 9781408828588)

three good things on a plate

Week 27: Sapori Forti

So I slightly burned this the first time round, so I had another crack at it!

It’s been a couple of months since I tried something new from my trusty Cupboard Love book, and as my lover pointed out: a while since I’ve stirred something different into some pasta.  Sapori Forti translates as Strong Flavours, and I’d been glancing at the recipe in a quizzical fashion ever since Week 9 (http://wp.me/p42Dr4-T) and when this week’s New Recipe Night crept up on me I realised I had everything in the cupboard!

To make Sapori Forti for two you will need: 200g pasta (linguine or spiralli), 1 onion (thinly sliced), 2 garlic cloves, 4 or 5 anchovy fillets, 50g black olives, 1 tbs capers, 50g raisins, 1 tbs pine nuts, 1 tbs chopped mint/oregano and some extra virgin olive oil.

First up, pop the raisins in a bowl in some warm water; while these are plumping up finely chop the onion, chop the garlic, roughly chop the capers and the olives and measure out the tablespoon of pine nuts (because you’ll only forget them later, like I did)

Heat 2tbs of normal olive oil in a fairly wide pan and fry the onion and garlic for about 5 or 10 minutes until really softened (keep stirring, but a bit of browning is OK).   Set your pasta water boiling in a different pan.

When the onion is really soft turn the heat down and add the anchovies, cook until they disintegrate and melt into the onions.  While this is melting, put your pasta into the water and cook as recommended on the packet (if you’re the sort to make your own pasta or buy that posh fresh pasta that cooks really quickly, don’t do this for a few more minutes)

After the anchovies are cooked add the olives, capers, raisins, pine nuts and herbs and remove the pan from the heat.  Give it all a good stir and add the extra virgin olive oil, it sort of loosens up and the oil picks up the combined flavours.

When the pasta is done, drain it and return it to the pan – fold the sauce around the pasta and serve.

So the first time I tried it I somehow blackened it to a crisp – without actually burning it – but it tasted so good I had a second bash at it, with new less charred pictures.  I’m glad I did it’s one of the tastiest things I’ve made!  Open your copy of Cupboard Love to page 28 and have it tonight!

 

Cupboard Love by Tom Norrington-Davies (Hodder & Stoughton 2005 ISBN 0 340 83525 5)

Puttanescapades!

Sounds like a Friday night out on the town, but actually its just a normal night in my flat.  No keys were put in any bowls.

The other week I made Nadia G’s Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca (Spaghetti like a whore would make https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/week-18-spaghe…lla-puttanesca/ ) which was lovely, a proper after-work dinner (especially if you’re a hooker I should imagine)

Then last week this happened: http://www.buzzfeed.com/catesevilla/nigella-lawsons-perfect-response-to-trinny-woodalls-domestic and I thought how interesting it would be to try another cooks recipe of the same dish.  So tonight I would like to introduce the first irregular New Recipe Night Recipe Fight.  I toyed with calling it the first Putta Fight, but I don’t think there are that many variations on Spaghetti alla Puttanesca, and you’d all get bored reading about spaghetti with olives, capers, tomato and anchovies; even if I dressed up specially.

So here we are with a different cooks take on Spaghetti like a whore would make.  Nigella’s “Slut’s spaghetti” from her Kitchen book (page 188).

The main difference (the only difference actually) is that Nigella uses a tin of tomatoes whereas Nadia uses cherry tomatoes, and Nigella uses pitted black olives where as Nadia G uses Kalamata Olives.  Nigella also gives the option of using picked red jalapenos instead of chilli flakes, but I didn’t have any.

The two recipes went together identically, if I was cooking for four I would prefer using the tinned tomatoes, but as its just me and the lover I had half a tin of tomatoes in the fridge for a couple of days.  Having said that, Nigella does say that the sauce can be made and kept for two days in the fridge/three months in the freezer; which might be my answer to slovenly after work cooking!

Pre-pitted olives from a jar are a boon.  I like the kalamata olives, but in my Sainsbury’s they only come whole from the deli and I have to pit them myself, which is a nuisance, and a non-putta activity…

A winner?  Tough one?  In a street fight I reckon Nadia G would win, because she’s very ghetto (and twenty years younger) but there’s something about the convenience of all of Nigella’s ingredients being in tins and jars that makes her version appeal to me more, as much as I like the whole cherry tomatoes.

Ultimately I’ll probably end up making a hybrid of the two, but one things for certain: next time I make it I shall definitely “serve in slatternly style, preferably with an untipped cigarette clamped between crimson painted lips”  Shkoff!

Kitchen, by Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus 2010, ISBN 9780701184605)

Week 18: Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Spaghetti like a whore would make; and I’m just the Putta to give it a whirl.

This recipe comes from the book to accompany my guilty pleasure cooking program on Food Network.  Nadia G’s Bitchin Kitchen.  Imagine my surprise when Santa bought me the book to go with series one this Christmas!

Bitchin Kitchen

I’ll admit, the first time I saw it I thought I was hallucinating and once I’d remembered I was sober I realised it was brilliant. However I found that none of my other friends had seen it, or weren’t fans.  The philistines.  I was overjoyed to see that the first recipe I ever saw was in the book (I can’t think why it wouldn’t be) and I chose to christen this new book with it.

The recipe uses Spaghetti (I use linguine) cherry tomatoes, anchovy fillets, capers, kalamata olives, garlic, olive oil, chilli flakes, brown sugar, salt and pepper.  I love how exact the recipe is, requiring 26 tomatoes.  All the ingredients are ones that are long lasting (except the tomatoes which last about nine minutes if you buy them from Sainsbury’s) and this is an ideal recipe for the end of the week before shopping day.

I would love to find kalamata olives sold ready pitted in jars, so I can sashay over to my cupboard and make it without having to remember to go to the deli counter – I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled, or maybe try it with black olives…?

Everything went in ok,  the tomatoes stewed into a nice light sauce.  I’d never bought/seen/cooked with capers before, and I was surprised how small they are, and how fiddly they were to chop.  I’ve worked out how to do it now though without loosing any fingers.  They get chucked in with the olives and before the pasta for the last 5 minutes.

The first time I made it it was a little too al dente; mostly because the timings are for spaghetti rather than linguine, but I made a note for next time.

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It was lovely.  I thought it probably would be because I really like the Linguine with Sardines and Anchovies I made back in week 9 (https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/week-9-linguin…es-and-parsley – and still make most weeks) it was spicier and saltier than I thought, but that doesn’t make it bad.  It was also a great recipe to christen my tongs (which I bought after burning myself on the lamb lollipops) and it has spurred me to buy a mini sieve (because it just seems silly straining capers in a full sized one)

I will definitely try more recipes from this book, once I’ve finished gazing at the pictures of Hans.  Shkoff!!

Nadia G’s Bitchin Kitchen Cookbook, by Nadia Giosia (Skirt! 2009. ISBN 978-1-59921-441-2)

Week 14: Crabby Noodles

Ladies and Gentlemen there is a dead crab in my kitchen.

It still has eyeballs.

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I called it Nigel.  I’ll admit I chickened out of getting one I’d need to wrestle into a pan of boiling water for a whistle-y death in my kitchen;  I got a dressed one instead.  One day, I’m sure I will commit crabicide – but not the first time I’ve cooked it!

I saw the Crabby Noodles in the Cupboard Love book on week 12 when I did the Thai Style Noodle Fry-Up – https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/week-12-a-thai-style-noodle-fry-up/ –  and thought it would be good to give it a go.

The recipe uses: rice stick noodles, chilli and garlic sauce, spring onions, courgette, Thai fish sauce, lime, and crab meat.

I got everything lined up ready like they do on the telly.  It was good to be organised, and I felt just like Nigella (however, I looked more like Mrs Craddock) – more importantly I could baff it all in the wok without having to panic.

It cooked so quickly I couldn’t really take any other pictures, until it was all bubbling at the end, as seen above!

I had a slight crab panic, because I didn’t know if I should save the spare meat for lunch the next day; or if it would kill me after being in the fridge so long.  So rather than die, I lobbed it all in and it was a little too crabby.  My lover said I should have put more courgette in, but if I’d got one any bigger it would have been a marrow.  I think next time I’ll just use the quantity the recipe asks for, and pop the rest in the freezer.

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When I have a bigger freezer, I’ll buy a few crabs at once and portion them off so I can make this quickly; but I’ll definitely make this again!

Cupboard Love by Tom Norrington-Davies (Hodder & Stoughton 2005 ISBN 0 340 83525 5)

Available here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cupboard-Love-Most-Your-Kitchen/dp/0340835265

Week 9: Linguine with Sardines, Anchovies and Parsley

Don’t laugh:  My Lover is scared of fish.  No, really.

As a result, I have never cooked a piece of fish that wasn’t either: covered in batter or breadcrumbs, and shaped like a finger.

He’ll eat fish, but it can’t look like fish – i.e. it shouldn’t really have bones, can’t have skin and mustn’t have a head… which sort of narrows it down.

I found this recipe in the Cupboard Love book, I think the bit that attracted me was that the fish gets cut up really small, and then mashed… No way that bad boy’s going to look like a fish.

To feed two people you will need: 200g Linguine or Spaghetti, 1 garlic clove, 3 anchovy fillets, half a teaspoon of crushed chilli (I use chilli flakes – it might be the same), the juice of half a lemon, 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, 1 tin of sardines in olive oil, salt and pepper, parsley to finish (I did this once, then never again – its messy)

Step one, finely chop the garlic clove and the anchovy fillets – you don’t have to de-bone the fillets because they’ll dissolve in the lemon juice, but I get the ones that poke out.  Once chopped put them in a bowl with the chilli, lemon juice and olive oil, and leave it for about half an hour.

After about twenty minutes boil your pasta water and drain the sardines.  Cook the pasta as directed on the packet, as soon as the pasta is in the pan put the sardines in the bowl and mush it up with a fork.  It should now look slightly like cat food:

Yum.  Drain the pasta, then stir the ‘sauce’ in with the pasta in the pan, season with salt and pepper, and serve with.

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It was really easy to make, and it’s very, very tasty.  I’d never had sardines or anchovy before, so I wasn’t totally sure what to expect – but I’m really glad I took the dive and gave it a go.

It takes about five minutes to cut everything up – and then about half an hour to infuse, with the pasta cooking  in 10 minutes . A perfect  dinner for after work.  I’ve made it two more times and not made any alterations to the recipe.

Try it tonight!

Cupboard Love by Tom Norrington-Davies (Hodder & Stoughton 2005 ISBN 0 340 83525 5)