Jan 07

Cookbook 131: Pasta

I found this in a box of stuff Scott’s parents had given him, which had been sitting in the garage for some time.  Hamlyn’s CookSmart, Easy Cooking Great Eating, Pasta, seems to be out of print in the edition I have (here), but I believe the first one I linked to is more or less the same.

Ok, a bit about the hiatus on this blog.  I’ve finally finished studying a Graduate Diploma of Museum Studies and then travelling and then all the stress that Christmas and New Year brings into my life.  Studying ate up so much of my time over the last two years, so very little cooking was done.  There is a small pile of cookbooks on the floor next to my desk from the cooking I did do, and I have to struggle to remember what I did and did not like about the recipes, but at least I can write those up and then move to returning to my old habit of cooking interesting and tasty food each weekend until I run out of cookbooks (this is unlikely to ever happen).

So this book is a weird rectangular thing that is bound in one corner, really like a collection of paint swatches.  It makes it annoying to use in the kitchen because the ingredients are on one side and the method for the recipe on the other side of the same “page”.  When you’re cooking more than one pasta dish, that makes the whole thing more annoying.  Though the recipes were tasty (I’ve made one again already), so I’m going to give this 3 out of 5 (would score higher if the format wasn’t so annoying).

Ribbon Pasta with aubergines and pine nuts

Ribbon Pasta with aubergines and pine nuts

Ingredients:

  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 diced eggplants/aubergines (about 1.5cm cubes)
  • 2 sliced red onions
  • 75g pine nuts
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 5 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste (or regular tomato paste)
  • 150ml vegetable stock
  • 300g ribbon pasta (fresh or dried)
  • 100g pitted black olives
  • salt and pepper
  • chopped flat leaf parsley (as garnish)

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the eggplant and onions for 8 – 10 minutes until golden.  Add the pine nuts and garlic and fry for 2 minutes.  Stir in the sun-dried tomato paste (or regular tomato paste) and stock and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta as per the instructions.
  3. Drain the pasta and return to the pan.  Add the sauce, olives, salt and pepper and toss for 1 minute until combined.  Serve scattered with parsley.

Notes on this recipe:

  • This is the one I cooked again.  The next time I cooked it I added fresh tomatoes and chilli to the recipe.  You could easily add mushrooms and basil as well.

Quick Pasta Carbonara

Ingredients:

  • 400g dried spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 200g pancetta, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh leaf parsley
  • 3 tbsp single cream
  • salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Cook the pasta in lightly salted, boiling water for 10 – 12 minutes or until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan and fry the onion until soft.  Add the pancetta and garlic and cook gently for 4 – 5 minutes
  3. Beat the eggs with the Parmesan cheese, parsley and cream.  Season and set aside.
  4. Drain the pasta and stir into the onion and pancetta until combined, then stir in the egg mixture.  Take the pan from the heat and continue mixing until the eggs are lightly cooked and creamy, then serve.

Notes on this recipe:

  • I don’t remember much about it, which suggests that it was all good.  The photo looks pretty good, so I’m going with, it was tasty.

 

 

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