In all honesty, I’ve not cooked as much from the 30 minute meals book as much as I had initially planned to, despite the fact I did want to eat it all but the 15 minute book in comparison is much more up more street practical wise! There is a rare cook book that has me wanting to make at least 90% of the recipes from it, and more importantly thinking I can manage them in an ill equipped kitchen with electric hob, and a random selection of herbs and spices that live rammed into the corner of the kitchen counter!
One thing I must mention is my love of salad, most of mine are born of random ingredients, indeed my beloved colleague and friend Ces knows me if anything else that I will nearly always have a mystery salad in my lunchbag for her to pick at too, however Jamie’s are far more exciting, combining big flavours and yet without having to buy something much more than my local shops can cater for where I live!
Friends also know me rather well for my cookery book love, and I read through most of this one with Miss L, overall we wanted everything but there was a certain ‘ohhrgghh’ when we spotted sausage gnocchi! I just need to convert her to the love of fennel…give me time.. mwah!
Whenever I get a new book, I used to use an excel sheet to document but have gone back to mostly scribbling out page numbers and reasons to make, however with this book it was a complete waste of time as I filled in 3 pages worth and pretty much realised wanted to make everything, or at least my take on it anyway! Always a good sign of things to come!
So what to make first was the biggest question!! I normally do rough meal planners based around what I have in, combined with what I fancy eating so it needed to fit in without too many changes, however I was recently staying at my aunts house and had taken the book with me (as you do!), and between us decided to try the Mushroom Farfalle, with blue cheese salad...
As I was in my lovely Aunties brand spanking new kitchen, it took me a little longer than 15 minutes to pull off dinner but now I know where everything is, it really wouldn't take long at all to make next time, and there will be a next time!
One of the erm , slightly unusual ingredients was cottage cheese. I have never, ever cooked with cottage cheese and wondered how it would work within the pasta etc but we were pleasantly surprised, and its definitely an ingredient I now look at in a new light!
The recipe portions were very generous considering the calorie count was quite sinless - and it was all delicious! I really liked the crunch of the salad, and the pasta was just perfect - a nice bit of spice courtesy of my aunties home grown chillies, earthy mushrooms and the creamy cottage cheese all worked together in harmony. We would happily make both dishes again!
Almost ready to eat!
I'm also sending my pasta over to the new Pasta Please challenge over at Tinned Tomatoes, which is born out of the ashes from the now sadly ended Presto Pasta Nights!