Saturday, June 04, 2011

Miss You Now



There is an appreciation in the Guardian today of the film Cutters Way. It's nice to see it lauded, because it is a good film, but it is not a patch on the book. Few films are, but I mention this, because the book Cutter and Bone is a masterpiece. I don't understand how it is not recognised as a classic. I love this book so much that I regularly buy it for people, and I have  yet to come across anyone who has not been moved by it, and who hasn't fallen in love with it. If you haven't read it, read it, I urge you: buy the damn book. Buy it twice! You can get it on Amazon for 1 single penny. How ridiculous is that?


I'm cooking like a maniac again on this sunny Saturday. There is a highly spiced shoulder of lamb cooking very, very slowly in the oven………it will be in there for seven hours. The aroma coming off it is something else. I had a glance through an old Marcella Hazan book while enjoying a coffee in the garden, and came across a recipe for spaghetti salad, with a roasted aubergine and pepper dressing, so had to make that too, and then it struck me that the kids needed a bit of dinner before they all disappear, so I knocked up, in 20 minutes flat, some pasta with a tuna sauce. It's so simple, and so fucking delicious, I'm blogging the recipe. This is for my own benefit, because by 5 o'clock I will have no idea how I made it. I should blog my recipes more often, as I can never remember the fuckers.

Here we go, what I used:

1 tin of Tuna
I shallot
I clove garlic
2 rashers pancetta
Zest of half a lemon
A bit of chilli
Sherry vinegar, but any will do
big spoon of sugar
big squirt of tomato puree
tin of tomatoes
half a pint of chicken stock

Until I did this, I could never stand a tuna sauce, but by God, I've cracked it. First thing, obviously is to get a big pan of salted water on the go.

Get the pancetta and shallot going in some olive oil, then drain the tuna, really drain it, squeeze all that bastard brine or water or oil or whatever out, then break it up, almost shred it, into your pan with the pancetta and immediately add some chopped garlic. You can add the garlic first if you like, I don't care.

Let that fry up a bit on a highish heat, you want the shredded tuna sizzling. When it's really hot, chuck in a spoon of vinegar and the sugar, and give it a quick stir, keep on high until the burning sensation the vinegar puts in your nostrils has gone……….add the lemon zest and chilli, give it a good old stir, add the tomato puree, give it a stir, add the tomatoes, maybe chuck in a slug of worcester sauce too, it won't hurt, season the bleeder, and add the chicken stock. Get it all bubbling and reduce to a fairly vigorous simmer.

Whilst that's doing put your pasta on, when that done, mix it all together. Give it a squirt of lemon juice and add a load of chopped basil, and Fannie's yer aunt. Done in no time and the kids love it. All the kids love it, which is a very rare occurrence.

That ain't the end of my cooking though…………I'll be doing a tabouleh, a raw veg salad, some marinated aubergine, and a differently marinated and bloody spicy broccoli. I hope the weather stays nice, because all of the above are designed to be eaten at room temperature; I can prepare it all and then just sit back, relax. and enjoy the afternoon and evening reading in the garden, with a few drinks, some mellow music and a nibble or 3 as the fancy takes me.

Bon bleeding appetit!
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