The kitchen crusader

I love food more than anything and I'm really bossy in the kitchen. I was brought up to care about food. I rant about it a lot. Food makes or breaks my day. I can't understand people who don't care about what they eat. I once cooked in a former job and I dream of cooking in a future one.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
what I ate last: Spaghetti with savoy cabbage, potatoes and melting cheese

For tonight's supper I have my mother to thank, who sent me a clipping with the kernel of this recipe on it. A northern Italian concoction, and very delicious for this time of year, a satisfying supper on a cold February night. Potatoes and pasta might seem a starch overdose, but you need very little potato, just enough to produce a change in texture in the dish and to adhere deliciously to the melting cheese. You could probably use chard instead of cabbage but again, the texture of the savoy, with its bite and nutty, nubbly flavour is rather perfect.

Its also an economical dish to make in terms of washing up. I started off by cutting the potatoes (only two small-ish ones, and I made what was probably enough sauce for two although I gobbled it all myself) into inch cubes and putting them in a big pan of water to cook. Then, in a deep heavy frying pan, plenty of rough-chopped garlic (I prefer it not so thinkly sliced that it burns but in thick-ish wedges) to cook slowly in olive oil with a few flakes of dried chilli. Then, shredding the cabbage, again not into thin strands but wide-ish strips, and dunking it into blanch with the potato for a few minutes. Then all of the potatoes and cabbage got taken out with a slotted spoon and added to the garlic to slowly absorb the flavours, the potato becoming slightly crushed in the process, while (lazy me) I cooked the spaghetti in the same pan of already-boiling water.

By the time the spaghetti was al dente, the cabbage and potato were delicious, nearly caramelising around a few edges, and then all that was needed was to add a quarter of a pyramidal creamy goat's cheese crumbled into the mix, adding the spaghetti tossed with a little more olive oil, and letting it all warm and melt together before tipping it out onto a plate, covering with plenty of black pepper and tucking in. Yum. I ate it all before it occurred to me to photograph it, but it's a surprisingly attractive dish too in a homely way, the bright green cabbage strips intertwined with the spaghetti and the knobs of potato and oozing cheese adding variety and texture.

posted at 10:31 PM  1 comments


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