Sunday, March 12, 2006

My 300th Recipe!!!

Wow! I can't believe I made my 300th recipe tonight. That's 300 recipes I've made. In 284 days. Out of the one book. Depending on how you look at it, it's either a big achievement... or concrete evidence of insanity. I think we all know which way I'm looking at it.

For your interest, here is what my 100th and 200th recipes were:

100. Lemon Pie
Watercress & Raw Mushroom Salad

300. Baked Veal and Ham Pasta

This recipe is undoubtedly one of the obscure ones. It's tucked away in the Cooking in Advance chapter, between the soups and the stews. And the long list of ingredients and instructions make it look a lot more complicated than it really is. That is to say, I probably wouldn't have thought to make it if I weren't undertaking this project.

I'm actually curious as to whether anyone else has made this, because I can't recall anyone talking about it or posting photos of it on blogs or photo-sharing sites. Anyone who's made this please let me know!

But in reality, making this recipe isn't hard at all. There are 3 components to it:

  • a mixture of finely chopped vegetables cooked with marsala, pancetta and minced veal
  • 500g of cooked penne
  • a large quantity of white sauce with parmesan added

  • So, you make these 3 things, and then stir them together, reserving some white sauce to pour over at the end. Nigella suggests mixing them in the baking tray itself, but there wasn't nearly enough room. I stirred them together in the pot.

    big pot

    At this stage it smells pretty damn good. And it tasted good too. In fact, you could eat it straight out of the pot and not bother with baking it at all. After my little taste test, I was severely tempted to immediately polish off the rest... but restrained myself.

    Once it's all mixed up, you pour it into a buttered baking dish, and then pour the reserved white sauce over. Then you put some dots of butter and more grated parmesan on top before baking it. As you can see, I didn't reserve enough white sauce, so it's sparsely dotted over, rather than blanketing the pasta.


    Actually, once the mixture is all prepared and put in the dish, you can let it cool, cover it and leave it in the fridge for a few days until you want to bake it. (Hence its position in the Cooking in Advance chapter). But I wanted to eat it straight away, so it went directly into the oven.


    Yum! Mum and I ate this for supper, late on Saturday night, with a glass of red wine, watching Only Fools and Horses on TV. It was fantastic comfort food - all that carb and cheese and meat. It's like a grown-up macaroni and cheese, but not one of those pretentiously elegant grown-up versions, containing 5 different expensive cheeses and super-spesh dry-cured bacon air-freighted from a tiny Italian village. All the ingredients were available at Coles. And most importantly, it just tasted good.

    2 plates


    domesticgoddess said...

    mon dieu that looks gooooooooooooooood!

    domesticgoddess said...

    and btw- wooohooo, you're on the home run, baby!

    Ilana said...

    300th recipe!! That's an AMAZING achievement, sweetie!! Way to go!
    This pasta reminds me of the 'big' pastas in the Party chapter in Feast.. so therefore I can vouch for how tasty this must have been!