Spiralling out of control

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I have a thing about gadgets. The problem with gadgets is that they are often strangely shaped ( think potato ricer; hand mixer; breadmaker; chinois sieve) and therefore a constant irritation in cupboards that are never meant to contain them. But I’d always hankered after a Spiraliser. Yes I know they are new-fangled and ‘always’ is probably not the correct word. But since I first saw one I wanted one.

That gremlin inner-voice said ‘Why?’ You will use it once; it’s another bit of clutter; charity-shop fodder in 12 months’ time etc etc.  But I wanted one.

I have a thing about time. I feel compelled to fill it.  I have been feeling self-righteous about going part-time (giving myself permission to work less)  – but at the moment ‘spare’ time seems in short supply because I am filling that time with the list of things that must be done. Like buy a Spiraliser. And then play around with it for a while.

So what is it?  It has a prongy thing and a clamp and a handle and three inter-changeable blades. You clamp a vegetable in its vice-like grip and it makes twirly vegetables – wide or narrow. I tried to  make crisps with it today but failed. Inevitably I sliced my finger on the blade. There is blood on this keyboard. And the mouse. David provided the elastoplast – he recognises the characteristic whimper that accompanies dripping blood. One day, you must remind me to tell you the story of when my parents in law followed the trail of blood through the house to find me slumped on the toilet seat looking wan.

Dinner a deux:

Spiraliser. And last night’s dinner…………….

I was more successful at  Spiralising itsy spaghetti-like strips of courgette and carrot yesterday evening, than the sweet potato crisps this afternoon.

Make courgetti and carrotetti with the Spiraliser with two medium sized courgettes and a small to medium carrot.

Cook about 100g linguini to al dente and keep about 75ml of the cooking liquid after you’ve drained it, rinse the linguini in cold water and set aside in the colander, rubbing a little olive oil through to stop it sticking.

In a wide, shallow pan gently fry one finely chopped onion, 6 anchovies straight from the tin. When the onions are soft add four large tomatoes each one cut into 8 (leave the skins on) and the tops of a bunch of asparagus.  Add a large knob of butter and a large clove of garlic grated on a Microplane.  Scatter with a little seasalt, a large grind of black pepper and a dessert-spoon of finely chopped parsley, rosemary and thyme and a good grating of lemon rind (by which I mean about half a lemon’s worth of rind – again, the Microplane is good for this).

Pour in the 75ml of cooking liquor and cook gently with the lid of for a further five minutes. Then add the cooked pasta and then the courgetti and carrotetti on top, spreading them evenly across the pan.  Add a little olive oil then put the lid back on the pan. Keep the heat on medium and cook for a futher five minutes.  The pasta will have warmed through and the courgetti and carrotetti will be soft and there will be some buttery anchovy juice still left in the bottom of the pan.

Grate some parmesan.  Lift the lid and stir the contents of your pan.  Serve into wide bowls and sprinkle with parmesan.  Delicious. I love my Spiraliser!

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