What I'm cooking and eating

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Pasta and bits

Food this month has been a lot of experimenting, ever since I came back from France with one of those cookery magazines that you pick up in the supermarket. This one was all about using fresh cheeses on seasonal vegetables - lots of fresh goats' cheese, but also ordinary cream cheese, or even fromage blanc.

I've always made a "sauce" to go with pasta, and, of course, often have baked it in the oven as some variation on macaroni cheese. It's been a revelation to discover you don't actually have to make a specific sauce - you can just sauté, or I suppose even steam, your vegetables, add some fresh cheese, and you're laughing!

One of my favourites was based on a recipe in the magazine which called for you to stuff canneloni or similar with a mixture of fresh goats' cheese and chopped mint, and serve this on a bed of aubergine, which you have diced very small and cooked in a frying-pan with a lid for about 20 minutes with garlic, salt and pepper. This is a lovely way of cooking aubergine, which I had thought I didn't really like all that much - okay for a "filler" in a vegetable stew, but not so nice on its own. But this is lovely:

1 aubergine (size depending on how many people you want it to feed - 1/2 small one is fine for 2 people, I find), diced.
1 tbs olive oil (and it will ask for more, but don't let it be greedy!)
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
salt and pepper

Put everything into a frying-pan or wok that has a lid, and fry gently for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Now lower the heat as low as it will go, cover, and let it cook in its own steam for a further 10 minutes. Serve with pasta and fresh cheese of some kind (cream cheese, fresh goats' cheese, Boursin, ricotta, cottage cheese, even Paneer might be nice) which you have stirred through and heated gently. Chopped fresh herbs add greatly to this, too.


  1. Wonderful... Annabel... Mrs Red Boots....
    Salivating from Vermont !!!!!!!!!
    Mothy/Clare W

  2. Actually, since that was easy.. here I am again...

    Since our carbon footprint is paramount.. using techniques like the Chinese do with stacked open bottom containers to steam food, whilst you boil rice/ pasta etc.. and steam the veggies above them, to make them soft.... kippers/ mackerel in a bag..in another layer.. towering above.... Then your superb... mouthwatering sauces...Brilliant.. and all on one burner !!!! Low profile, low carbon and barely cooking, when one is exhausted and wants to put feet up !

  3. "...and you're laughing" is kind of like "Bob's your uncle," right?

    (I know, I know, you are trying to blog about food and I keep turning up and commenting on language differences...)

  4. That's all right, Laura.... yes, that's roughly what I meant!

  5. I should add, by the way, that the cooked aubergine ends up looking seriously like bogies, but it still tastes good!