Monday, April 26, 2010

Frugal Fiorelli

I love reading food blogs. They inspire, encourage, inform and entertain. I've got a whole list of them plugged into my Google Reader.

I keep thinking of posting *my* culinary escapes on my blog and then I think, hmm, would anyone be interested?! I never write down what I've done, rarely can remember, and I never think of taking a photograph until *after* we've eaten something and thought "yum!".

Regular readers will possibly remember photos of half eaten food...

Also, is the food I create really replicable? Most of it is using up odds and ends, last minute reactions to kids breezing in and asking "what's for dinner?" and my thinking "good question..."

Recently however I've been inspired by a number of blogs I'm reading where it dawned on me that this was exactly what they were doing! The difference was having in mind the fact that they were going to write it up/post about it later. (Planning, I think it's called, lol)

And, of course, the fact that most of them are far superior bloggers and writers than I am!!

Anyway, here goes with an experiment.

This was our dinner tonight - Frugal Fiorelli.

First off - what is Fiorelli? Well it's pasta, and I believe it gets its name from the fact that it looks like the flower buds that grow into squash blossoms. Anyway, we got it as part of M&S's £3 Italian deal (1 500g bag of pasta, 1 pasta sauce and a ciabatta). Not in itself frugal, but the frugality came from having half a bag left from having had our £3 meal deal!

As for the rest, well I'm not sure how replicable this is, but we were using up the remains of our braai yesterday. There was one pork sausage and one 100% beef quarter pounder left (the kids had had these as we thought the South African food we'd prepared might have been too spicy). We also had some tomato salad left over. That had be prepared a la Jamie Oliver (thin slices, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic, sprinkled with sea salt, minced garlic and a little chopped shallot, and thyme). Finally, I had some cream left over from the pudding that our guests had brought and some red wine in the freezer.

I think if we'd had some pancetta, this would have been even better.

I sauteed off one small onion, added half a chopped green pepper, and one very small carrot finely diced. Once these had softened I added three garlic cloves, chopped.

I quickly deseeded the tomato slices, chopped them and added them together with all the lovely olive oil/salt/balsamic/tomato juices in the bottom of the bowl.

I diced up the sausage and the burger very finely and added them to the saucepan. In the freezer I have a container of red wine. I scrapped out two heaped tablespoons of this red wine "ice" and added to the mix. Once this had cooked off I added cream to taste - probably around 200ml or so.

A handful of fresh basil, torn, and then sea salt and black pepper and it was ready. I'd cooked some Fiorelli and I added this to the sauce (having learnt recently that you add pasta to the sauce, not the other way around like I had previously always done!). Mix well, dish up, and top with freshly grated Parmesan.

We served this is a garlic bread baguette - which earned the title of frugal because it was from Sainsburys' Basics range, AND had been reduced down, AND it was one left over that we'd frozen down!

I (just!) remembered to take a photo before tucking in.

*sigh* it was really nice! The red wine was definitely what was needed to bring out the flavours and it turned out to be just the right sort of sauce to go with the fiorelli.

So, tell me, does anyone want more food blogging? I've got a new blog that I could put it on... and/or I could leave it here?

Feedback gratefully received!

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