Friday, October 21, 2005

Cena in Bianco

You’ll all be ecstatic to hear that I finished my marketing assignment today, and handed it in, giving me the afternoon and evening free to do whatever I wanted. So, I went to Prahran Market with the parentals, and finally got some clams, with the aim of making Nigella's linguine alle vongole. (And the clams I got were actually labelled "vongole", so I knew I was getting the right stuff... none of this "pippies" bullshit).

I made the white tiramisu last night whilst cooking the chicken and morels, as it has to sit in the fridge overnight. The white tiramisu, preceeded by the linguine alle vongole (served white, or in bianco, as Nigella insists) came together to form our dinner, our cena in bianco.

156. Linguine alle Vongole (One & Two)
157. White Tiramisu (Cooking in Advance)

The white tiramisu serves 4-6, so I halved the quantities (as per usual) for us. It goes in layers - savoiardi biscuits soaked in milk and Bacardi, then a mixture of mascarpone, sugar, egg yolks and whisked egg whites, some crushed meringues, more soaked biscuits, and finally more mascarpone mixture. Nigella says to save a third of the cream, only spreading it over when serving, along with some meringue coins. However, with my halved amounts, it was difficult enough to get two layers of cream (even in a small dish). So into the fridge it went last night, fully assembled except for the meringue coins.

Whilst the tiramisu is prepared in advance, the linguine has to be prepared at the last minute. The cooking process of the clams is pretty much the same as the moules marinière, except without onions, with some dried chilli peppers and, obviously, cooked pasta.

The recipe serves one, and Nigella suggests 150 grams of linguine - that's crazy talk, I tell you!! 100 grams of pasta per person is plenty (I know this from extensive experience of making Nigella pasta dishes). So I just doubled the recipe for myself and my parents. (My brother's at work, so he misses out on the pasta, the poor sod).

I love pot!

Big bowl of vongole

Bowl of linguine - take note of the Living Kitchen salt pig in the background

I really don't need to describe the linguine - just know that everything Nigella writes about it is absolutely true, and that you must make it as soon as possible.

- How to Eat, One & Two, p. 137
- Forever Summer, First Course, p. 44
- Feast, Ultimate Feasts, p. 346

And here is my, terribly clumsily "decorated" white tiramisu. The recipe says to use 2cm meringue coins - and I was using these big 10cm meringue nests from a packet. (Leftovers from the Quickly-scaled Mont Blanc.) I probably could have broken them up finer, thus making them look less like a 2-year old's art project, but meh, we wanted to eat it straight away.

White Tiramisu - Are we totally loving the 1970's bowl?

Halfway through - I'd say it's more yellow than white, but whatever.

One serving.

Oh wow!! This tiramisu is amazing!! It's so easy, and serious dinner party material. (But only if decorated less stupidly). We loved it, and it was a genuine struggle saving a portion for my brother. Ordinarily, my parents are very self-sacrificing, saying things like "oh no, you kids go ahead", but tonight, I had to forcibly remove the tiramisu from the table to prevent my parents from eating it all and leaving none for my brother.

On an aside, my cousin Ricky’s specialty is spaghetti alle vongole. I've never tried his version, (he lives in Malaysia), but I've heard good things, especially from my niece and nephew, Darren & Cheryl. I remember once, Dad gave Darren and Cheryl's mum a phone call when Ricky happened to be making his spaghetti alle vongole for them...

ring ring...
Darren: Hello!
Dad: Hello, is this Darren?
Darren: Hello koo kong! (Koo kong = Grand-uncle in Hokkien)
Dad: How are you? What are you doing?
Darren: Uncle Ricky's cooking!
Dad: Ooh, is he cooking spaghetti vongole?
Darren: No, spaghetti clam!

Dad, his nephew Ricky, and his nephew Darren - Together in Kuala Lumpur last year

Darren! Awww....

1 comment:

Salome said...

I made the White Tiramisu yesterday and swallowed nearly half of it in one bite for breakfast today ;)) It tastes even better than the regular one, doesn' it? :)