Sunday, October 30, 2005

Shepherd's Spaghetti

The Shepherd's Pie recipe rocks. I used it as a spaghetti sauce last night, and it was wonderful.

I came home from work last night at 7pm , with no plans to cook, to discover my mother and brother hanging about at home, with no dinner on the table and no idea as to how to get it there. I really think I'm spoiling them with all this cooking. But not to worry, as long as I don't have to do the dishes, I don't give a shit.

I opened the fridge, and came across this huge chunk of lamb from Wednesday night's dinner...

Leftover lamb

I'd eaten some of it before , just microwaved... but after three nights in the fridge, it was no longer able to be eaten straight up. It was time for Shepherd's Pie.

I've made both of Nigella's shepherd's pie recipes before - she has one which you make from cooked meat, and one which you make from raw minced meat. I made them both with beef, and incorrectly still called them "Shepherd's Pie", when they should have been called "Cottage Pie", just because I think "Shepherd's Pie" sounds better. I also thought that I wouldn't have the time or opportunity to try the recipe with different meats so there'd be no point in being accurate with the naming. Silly Sarah! This is a Nigella book. Of course you're gonna end up with heaps of leftover cold roast meats in the fridge. Tsk tsk.

But being the anal-retentive that I am, I now sincerely regret the incorrect nomenclature. This is coming from the girl who pronounces Italian pasta dishes in the correct way at restaurants (spaghetti bo-lo-nies-eh, not "bolonaise"); says "foccace" instead of "focaccias"; who corrects bad grammar on memos from managers ("their" instead of "there" really gets my goat); and who stubbornly said all of the titles of the foreign films we showed at my last cinema in their original language, despite continued baffled looks from our patrons.

I probably won't be able to sleep tonight.

Anyway, back to the food. I whizzed up the vegetables (carrots, onion, garlic and parsley) very finely in a processor, and cooked them until soft in a pan, before mincing up the meat in the same processor and chucking that in the pan. Then, as per the recipe, I added semolina, tinned tomatoes and some milk. As it was simmering slowly, I took a quick shower, came back to the kitchen, cooked some pasta, and dinner was ready. I followed Nigella's tip (from the Lemon Linguine in Weekend Lunch) of getting the pasta water to the boil and then turning off the heat slightly in advance - i.e. before I took my shower. That way, when I came out the water took hardly any time to come to the boil again and dinner could be on the table faster!

Shepherd's Spaghetti

Served with grated pecorino, chilli oil and chilli flakes, this was the perfect reward for a tiring day.

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