I have a question for you. Are there days when you are constantly on the move or in some kind of a rush? Every single day I hear you shout! I lead a small life and generally I have a very fixed timetable. Usually. There are times though when everything I’ve learnt about time management just goes out of whack. Whatever I planned for the day just gets thrown out of the window and I just…just…squeeze in the basic things on my to-do list. Do you have one of those? I do. Crossing out all the tasks rarely happens, no news there I guess, though I relish that yes-I-have-achieved-so-much-today feeling. Don’t you love that?
Which brings me to the realization that during the busier days eating well…hell, eating something to start with, becomes more of a chore than an enjoyment. Even now, I find myself looking up at the clock, checking the time every few minutes and reminding myself that lunchtime is approaching quickly. Too too quickly.
This recipe was recently a lifesaver. Once in a while I like to re-read my not-so-recent books to find hidden gems which would have otherwise be completely overlooked. This one is from Gordon Ramsay’s Cooking for Friends which isn’t one of my favourite books I have to say. Yet this particular one works for me. I have changed the quantities and method to suit me, and in turn you can switch stuff around until you find what works best for you. Recipes are there only as a guide after all.
**With regards to the double cream, I sometimes substitute this with bechamel when I have the time to prepare this in advance. If I don’t I use either single cream, crème fraiche or even cottage cheese. Before adding the cottage cheese though make sure to take the pan off the heat.**
- 250g dried pasta (I used fusilli bucati but penne do the job too.)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 rashers unsmoked bacon, chopped
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 4 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 10g dried sage, crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 125g frozen peas, just about thawed
- 150ml double cream**
- 50g pecorino, grated plus some for sprinkling on top of each serving
- pepper, to taste
Bring a medium pot of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the cooking instructions.
In the meantime place a large pan on a medium heat and pour in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Gently fry the bacon pieces until they start to brown. Drain them by removing the excess oil and set them aside in a warm bowl.
In the same pan, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the chopped onion, garlic, thyme and crushed sage. When the onion starts to soften, add the bacon pieces to the pan. Give the ingredients a stir and add the peas. Leave to cook for around 5 minutes but don’t let the peas get mushy.
Add the cream and stir again. When it starts to bubble, quickly add the cooked pasta and grated pecorino. Take the pan off the heat. Give everything a good mix in the pan and serve immediately.
Serves 2 very very hungry people.
(Recipe adapted from Cooking for Friends, HarperCollins, 2008.)