Newest Review: ... by adding stock cubes to boiling water and takes about 15 minutes to make) Teaspoon of Paprika 400g seafood mix (can use frozen as long ... more
Nobody Likes Me, Everybody Hates Me, Think I'll Go And Eat Worm Pasta
Rice & Pasta Dishes
Member Name: jillmurphy
Rice & Pasta Dishes
Date: 31/01/02, updated on 31/01/02 (852 review reads)
Advantages: Easy shopping, slurpy chins.
Disadvantages: Slight problem with the cherry tomatoes.
Pasta is good. It tastes good, it's good for you (something to do with complex carbohydrates I believe), and what's more, it's versatile. Pasta gets five stars from me, especially because it's also easy to cook. If you wanted you could eat pasta for breakfast, lunch and tea. You could, honestly, read on and I'll prove it! For all day pasta recipes, enough to feed two big people and two little people read on. And please don't tell me you don't like pasta, EVERYONE likes pasta, surely? Each one of the following uses vermicelli, which I like better than spaghetti cos it's thin, like me. Feel free to use spaghetti though, it doesn't really matter. Either one is known as worm pasta hereabouts anyway, but sshh about that, because worm pasta doesn't sound all that appetizing, does it?
EPISODE I: PASTA FOR BREAKFAST
Don't sigh, because yes you can, you can eat pasta for breakfast. I love my mother's carbonara: it's all tasty and gorgeous and wonderful, and she makes it all proper-like with parmesan and pancetta and cream and ooh, I'll stop telling you about it, because I want some NOW! It's for lunchtime though really because it is very, very rich. This is a bit like carbonara, but breakfast carbonara. And easy; for Jills to make. You will need:
1/2 packet vermicelli
1 cereal bowl full of grated mature cheddar cheese
8 rashers smoked streaky bacon
Ok, cook the vermicelli like it says on the packet but for a minute or two less time than it says. While it's boiling away stick the bacon under the grill and keep grilling until it's all crispy, but not burnt (although even burnt isn't the end of the world, ask my family, I burn it all the time, they still eat it, but they're nice like that). Also, put the eggs in a bowl and beat them with a fork or a whisk or other beaty kitcheny utensil. Stick half the grated cheese in the bowl
with the egg, bash the crispy bacon up with a bashy kitchen utensil so it's in little bits and add that in to the eggy bowl too, along with several twists of the black pepper pot. When the pasta is cooked drain off the water, keep the it in the saucepan, and pour the eggy cheesy bacony contents of your bowl over the top. Turn the heat on the gas down to low, put the saucepan back and stir around until the egg has cooked and the cheese has melted all over the pasta. That's it. All you need do then is put a goodly sized dollop of it into everyone's bowl and sprinkle over the remaining cheese.
Hmm? I suppose you could eat it at lunchtime, with some nice slices of vinaigrettey tomato and onion on the side. Jill's Bodged Carbonara, my mother calls it. But we (I) like to call it breakfast pasta, because we (I) like to pretend it's not a bodge at all, and we (we, really, honestly we) think it tastes really nice on weekend mornings, much better than bacon and egg fry-up, when you've got plenty of time to sit and enjoy it. It's yummy. I will admit, though, that perhaps it is not as nice as chocolate orange pancakes, which are also a wonderful weekend breakfast, and perhaps, chez Murphy, cooked more often. But sshh about that!
EPISODE II: PASTA FOR LUNCH
Sooo. Lunch. I have to work all week, and so five days from seven all I get for lunch is a sandwich. However, on the other two days of the week the last thing I want to do is spend hours and hours slaving in the kitchen over gourmet things which are hard to make and I'm bound to mess up. Easy-peasy pasta is good for weekend lunches, this one takes about twenty minutes to make (sorry, prepare, I'm supposd to be foody, aren't I?) and is absolutely no effort whatsoever. You will need:
¾ packet vermicelli
½ packet (you know, the Tesco punnet thingies) cherry tomatoes
8 oz feta cheese
2 handfuls green olives
2 handfuls fresh sweet basil r>black pepper
Sooo. Cook the pasta like it says on the packet, and while it's cooking roughly chop up the tomatoes and the olives and tear the basil leave into small pieces. You don't chop the feta, you sort of crumble it, take it out from the packet and you'll see what I mean. You're aiming for small pieces, but not too small, ok? Put everything in a nice big serving bowl. Once the pasta is cooked you just drain it, dollop it into the serving bowl, mix it all around a bit, and grind lots of black pepper over the top and serve. There. Done. Already. Told you it was easy!
Ah, but it tastes better than easy, it tastes yummy and it looks pretty and best of all it seems to impress visitors! (Sshh, don't tell them it's so easy). I love the squeaky texture of feta, and its cool, smooth taste, I like the way the pieces of cherry tomato are so juicy and sweet, the way the olives add tangy bite to the pasta, and I just love the smell of the basil. Ooh, I want this now too! Warm, lovely pasta mixed with cool, sweet, and tangy things, stuff, whatever you'd call the other ingredients. Wonderful. Chez Murphy this lunch comes with only one teensy weensy problem: how do you persuade a stubborn six-year-old that cherry tomatoes are nice? (All suggestions gratefully received, I'd like to eat this more often).
EPISODE IV (it's like Star Wars, episode three coming soon) PASTA FOR PUDDING
Ooh. You'll like this one. You all like rice pudding, yes? Everyone likes rice pudding! This is just like rice pudding, but with pasta, and it's yummy. Since I discovered it I've made myself feel quite sick (but nicely sick, you know) eating wayyyy too much of it on more than one occasion. It's easy peasy to make, but a bit of a pain in the neck though, sorry! To make a nice, great big load of it, enough for everyone to stuff themselves, you will need:
½ packet vermicelli
1 pint full fat milk
n condensed milk
butter for frying
2 handfuls sultanas (if you like)
2 handfuls dessicated coconut (if you like)
All you do is melt a big knob of butter in a large, thick-bottomed saucepan (apparently it has to be thick-bottomed, this helps with sticking. Now that almost sounds rude to me, but the originating chef was very insistent about it, so I'm repeating it here), break the sticks of pasta up so that they're about four inches long, chuck them in the pan and stir fry them about for about five minutes making sure the heat is all low and gentle. When you've done that then you pour in the pint of milk (full fat is best, but semi-skimmed will do) and turn up the heat to about quite high, um... about half the dial on a gas ring? Something like that. Now comes the tricky bit: you have to stir and stir and stir and stir and stir. It's boring, very boring, but it's worth it, honest. You're looking for the sort of simmer that makes lava-type bubbles, and if you don't stir and stir and stir and stir and stir it will stick, and stick BIG and taste 'orrible. So stir, stir good ok?
You have to keep up with the stirring for quite a long time, until the pasta is all cooked and yummy, it will take about fifteen to twenty minutes. Have a tip. Put on some happy music and practise dancing around the pan. Stir with rhythm, the times passes more quickly that way. Have another tip. Bribe your children to take a turn. Offer them anything. But do something else right there in the kitchen while they're stirring, because they can't be trusted to concentrate, betcha. Anyway, the pasta is cooked through chuck in some sultanas if you like them, or some coconut if you like that, or both if you like, neither if you don't but most importantly add the tin of condensed milk. Keep stirring, the stirring is even more important now, and simmering, and stirring, for another ten minutes or so. When it's all nicely thick tak
e it off the heat, transfer to a big bowl and allow to cool.
See? Easy, but a pain. Oh, but it's worth it. It is. This is as yummy as rice pudding, in fact it's yummier. I'm a sucker for condensed milk. And it's more fun than rice pudding (although rice pudding's not a pain to cook because you just shove it in the oven and don't have to stir, so don't abandon it altogether) because the lengths of pasta do tend to make it gloriously messy to eat. And puddings should be messy, don't you think? It's incredibly sweet, incredibly sickly and I like it best when it's very cold, so after it's cooled I put it in the fridge for a while before eating it. I like it plain best too, nothing is too sickly for me you see, but Conor and Kieran like it with sultanas. We all like sucking the pasta whilst making slurping noises though, but sshh about that AS WELL, ok?
Et voila! Three recipes so that you can eat vermicelli, or worm pasta, at every meal of the day. Super, eh? Stick with me, and your online Tesco order will take you about five minutes to place. Your meals won't take much longer to cook either! Plenty of time for lazing about on the internet then, but you know, SSSSHHHH about that!
[Oh you know, you don't really have to eat vermicelli three times a day if you don't want to: it was this or write more words about tongues than alkaliguru did, or try my hand at a Peter Greenaway film, and I'm not that brave! And these three things are all jolly nice. So there!]