I never thought I would love anchovies, I mean the first time I tried them on a pizza I thought they were overly salty and overpowered everything else. Someone should warn you, that anchovies on a pizza are not like anchovies in cooking, anchovies that you have cooked into a meal are silky smooth, tangy and add so much depth to a meal.
I first used anchovies when making the spicy topping for Jamie Olivers cauliflower risotto (fantastic by the way), made by frying anchovies and bread with garlic and chilli, I knew I liked three of those ingredients so I thought why not. I loved it. This then grew into a pasta sauce, having bought anchovies to use with the risotto I then realised I wanted something quick, so using the three best ingredients from the topping, anchovies, garlic and chilli along with red wine and a tin of tomatoes I made a sauce that will knock your socks off. The anchovies and garlic give it depth and the chilli adds a fiery heat, and then the wine softens it back down. I cannot do it justice in writing all I can say is make it yourself. My sister loves this sauce so much that when she once came to visit me in St Andrews, we went to every shop searching for them, we went to Aldi, Morrisons and Tesco, No Luck. We went to the delis, Mitchells, Butlers, Tail end, NO LUCK. Finally we went into kerachers fish and game shop, and there we bought a small Styrofoam cup of fresh anchovies! I’d never used fresh anchovies before but I persevered on and it made 5 Tupperware’s of fantastic sauce. So Laura this recipe is for you.
Anchovy pasta sauce
makes enough sauce for 2-4 people depending on how much you love it
- one tin of anchovies, or about half a jar if you buy them like that
- Three cloves of garlic crushed
- Chilli flakes
- A tin of tomatoes
- one large glass of red wine (Something you might drink yourself)
- Pasta tubes, or something with ridges that hold the sauce.
- Start off the pasta, the sauce takes as long to make as the pasta takes to cook.
- Tip the anchovies oil and all into a non stick sauce pan and separate, allow these to melt down to nothing, add the chopped garlic and the chilli flakes as much or as little as you like. Be warned it may spit at this point.
- After the garlic has softened add the tin of chopped tomatoes and stir well. Allow to reduce slightly then add the glass of wine, stir again.
- Allow the sauce to reduce down by about a third or a half, if it seems too dry add more wine or some of the water from the pasta, it should coat the pasta with a thick layer of sauce.
- Serve by mixing with the pasta and adding a generous grating of parmesan. Enjoy.
So I have been struck down with freshers flu! Nooo, seriously every year I get it, I don’t think it is fair. I mean I’m not even a fresher I’m a third year, but sadly I’m not immune- there is something about coming back to university that breeds germs. All those people from different places, coming together getting packed in small bars and lecture theaters, it’s bound to happen. And I’m guessing the cold weather up here doesn’t help either.
I Can’t really remember freshers flu last year, so it must have been pretty mild, which is something, saying last year was the swine flu scare. I guess working in summer camps means you’re pretty much immune to anything by the end of it. But first year when I was actually a fresher, that was spectacular, I fell asleep constantly! I remember sitting down in a lecture and suddenly realising there was no way I was going to concentrate, sadly the lecturer arrived before I had a chance to leave. The rest of that weekend was spent sleeping and drinking JD from a hipflask. Not the best idea but awesome all the same.
So food, that is what this blog is supposed to be about isn’t it. Well this week I haven’t eaten that many interesting meals hence the lack of posts, sorry guys. Today I decided to fight the cold with fire and spice, in soup form of course because my throat is sore. I’ve been told spicy food is good for a cold and I have to agree, it definitely perks you up.
Spicy Parsnip Soup
- Parsnips (2 makes a big bowl of soup for one – scale up from that)
- an onion chopped
- Ginger (I used ginger paste but fresh works equally well)
- chilli flakes or crushed chilli or garam masala
- stock approx 1 pint
- a little oil
- Chop the onion into thin slices and fry until it starts to soften, then add the ginger and the chilli. Be generous – you want the flavour to be intense to cut through the cold. As I was using crushed ginger paste and crushed chilli paste which are both quite potent I used a teaspoon of each.
- Finely chop the parsnips and add to the onions, fry for a short while then add the stock. Bring this to boil then leave simmering for about 20 mins, until everything is nice and soft.
- This is one of those soups I like to blend, so once the veg has softened I allow it to cool a little then blend with a hand blender.
- Add a generous amount of cinnamon approx 2 tsp, and stir in, season to taste and consume.
A little side note on parsnips: Parsnips are in season at the moment, so are cheap to buy, which is always a plus. They’re also so versatile, I tend to buy a bag of them at the beginning of the week, and will have used them all by the end of it. They’re great for sneaking veg into a meal try;
- Parsnip curry
- parsnip mash ( mix a few in with your regular mash, to give it some extra flavour, apparently great on shepherds pie)
- Parsnip chips (great with garlic mayo)
- Honey roasted parsnips (par boil them then liberally baste with a mix of 1 part oil to 2 parts honey, then slow roast. Great with your sunday lunch.)