Leftovers spruced up

… or how to make good use of what’s left in the fridge!

Last week I made some Bolognese sauce. Now I know there is a variety of recipes out there and of course the original recipe but I think everyone has their own way of making Bolognese sauce and mine turns out to be different each time I make it. Here’s my recipe:

800 gr. of lean minced meat
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
1 tin of tomato puree
2 bay leaves
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 large glass of red wine (250ml)
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp of dried Italian herbs
a few squirts of Worchester sauce
1 tsp of brown sugar
freshly ground pepper
garlic salt or sea salt
some olive oil

Fry the onions with the bay leaves in a large sauce pan in some olive oil on a low heat so they turn glassy. Turn up the heat, add the minced meat and fry it until it’s slightly turning brown. In between add the garlic and season with herbs, salt, sugar and pepper. Then add the tomato sauce, tomato puree, ketchup, Worchester sauce and the red wine. Turn the heat down, put a lid on the sauce pan and let it simmer for a good half an hour. Don’t forget to stir it once in a while and taste to see if you need any more seasoning.

As I used 800 gr. of minced meat and also added a handful of chopped brown mushrooms to the sauce the batch turned out to be quite large so I froze half of it to use on another day, which was yesterday.

I had several things in my fridge that I thought would go well with the Bolognese sauce:

half a glass of sliced black olives
1/3 of a glass of capers
6 strips of streaky bacon
ΒΌ of an onion
a small bunch of chives
a glug of red wine

I finely chopped the onion and fried it in some olive oil together with the bacon that I had cut into tiny quarters. Then I added the capers and the olives …

… and also some freshly cut chives and last not least a glug of red wine that I had just opened to go with the meal ;-).

Once it was all hot I emptied my container of defrosted Bolognese sauce into the pan, gave it all a good stir and turned the heat down to let it simmer for a bit until my tagliatelli were ready.


Roasted asparagus with pancetta

I watched Saturday Kitchen Best Bites a few days ago and they showed a recipe from Jamie Oliver, which looked delicious.

I thought the idea of green asparagus wrapped in pancetta with little red and yellow tomatoes sounded lovely but I had my doubts about the fresh rosemary sprigs. Turns out after I cooked this tonight I was right. The rosemary was simply overpowering and I will leave it out next time I cook this.

Here is Jamie’s recipe as far as I remember from the programme:

24 medium-sized asparagus spears
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 good slices of pancetta or dry cured smokey bacon rashers
4 yellow cocktail tomatoes
4 red cocktail tomatoes
Olive oil
1/2 a lemon
1 knob butter
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/gas 7.

Remove the woody ends of the asparagus by bending them at the end and snapping where it clicks naturally. Feel free to boil your asparagus for a minute or so if they are not as tender as they should be. Grab 6 spears of asparagus, sandwich one of the rosemary sprigs and a yellow and red cocktail tomato (pips squeezed out) and roughly torn open and wrap a slice of pancetta around the middle to hold everything in place. Make three more bundles in the same way , and put them into a small roasting tray or pan (with 1/2 a lemon). Drizzle with a little olive oil and roast in the pre-heated oven for 4 to 5 minutes, until the pancetta is crispy. Remove from the oven, add your knob of butter (and squeeze over the juice of your roasted lemon). Season if need be.

I didn’t roast the little parcel in the oven as I slightly overcooked my asparagus, I just threw them in a hot pan and fried them from each side so the pancetta was crispy. I also left out the lemon as I had other plans for my sauce.

We had leftover saltimbocca alla romana from yesterday and I reheated them in the pan with the asparagus parcels. I made a quick sauce out of a 1/4 pint vegetable stock, a large slosh of marsala, some single cream, salt and pepper and cooked it down to a creamy consistency and poured it over small pieces of potatoes, that had been roasting in the oven for an hour or so (until they were golden and crispy).

No picture from the dish as it was so good, by the time I remembered to take a picture it was all gone, so I just posted a picture from the worldcommunity cookbook (thank you!).

Fishermen’s friend…

Jono went trout fishing the other day and came home with two rainbow trouts for dinner. I kept it simple and used fresh herbs from my garden and some garlic and lemon. We washed, gutted and scaled the fish and cut some slits to stuff the herbs into.
I used:
lemon thyme
several cloves of garlic
olive oil
lemon juice

I chopped the herbs and the garlic and mixed them with olive oil, lemon juice, some freshly ground pepper and some chili salt and rubbed it all over the fish (inside and outside). Off they went into the oven under the grill (I turned them once) until they were nice and brown.
We had new potatoes and salad with the fish. Delicious and healthy.