A. Sticky keys!
Tonight’s dinner is quick and simple. And it is a test to see if the pasta I made yesterday (the other half that is in the fridge) is still usable today. The answer is yes, but with a couple of caveats. 1. Double wrap the pasta in clingfilm if you are using it the following day. Bring it back to room temperature before you roll it – take it out of the fridge a good couple of hours before you want to use it.
Then either roll by hand or use the magic machine, and cut the rolled strips into rectangles about 110 cm X 90 cm.
Sweat half a pack of washed spinach in a shallow pan with a lid on and no water. This will take about 2 minutes on a high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and remove the lid. Sauté chopped mushrooms in olive oil and garlic and season well. I am not giving proportions here, use your own judgement depending on how big is the dish you are using.
Put some of last night’s tomato sauce on the base of the dish. Then a layer of pasta. Then a layer of spinach and mushroom (squeeze the spinach a bit of it looks too wet). More pasta. More tomato sauce. Then top with the walnut ‘Parmesan’ left over from last night and a few more breadcrumbs mixed in and about 20ml olive oil.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes tops at about 180C. Just check that the top isn’t scorching and if it looks a bit too brown before the sauce is bubbling, cover loosely with a lid of tin foil.
You could serve this with a salad, but we are having a hot salad of seasoned butternut squash, onion, garlic, red pepper, roasted in a pan till crisp and very slightly ‘caught’ then a squeeze of lemon juice at the end, with a freekah (cooked green wheat) and sunflower seed topping. Serve at room temperature.
If you only read the recipes on this blog and not the front page, you might wonder why sometimes my recipes are a bit ‘approximate’ that’s because in my world, cooking is about following your instinct once you know your ingredients. Pierre Pepin caught the essence of what I mean when he said “a recipe is a teaching tool, a guide, a point of departure, but never a hard rule”. I concur. http://www.davidlebovitz.com/jacques-pepin-how-following-a-recipe-can-lead-to-disaster/