On Friday I visited my delightfully mad aunt who totally rocks. It was my turn to cook, so I brought the ingredients for the second version of a Italian seafood dish with which to impress the Hot Interior Designer.
My aunt is an avid cook and generally awesome woman for whom I acted as chauffeur and butler on a two week driving holiday/seafood odyssey into Victoria last October.
We discussed many recipes on the way including many she disparaged.
Aunt: I mean, look at this! Fennel and Rocket Salad!? Easy! And yet there’s a recipe for it.
Nephew: Yes, it’s hardly Fennel and Rocket science.
The morning after the marinara, I suffered a sneezing fit as she talked about the unique way she puts extension leads away on coat-hangers. An old friend was insufficiently impressed by this.
“Sorry, I’m allergic to anecdotes,” I manage to splutter.
Later I found a jar of hers that formerly held chilli seeds, labelled ‘Long Thin Hotness’.
“That’s me when I’m lying down” I say.
Apparently I am an unending source of disappointment to her.
But, she _did_ like the marinara if not so much the way it was executed.
“There you were leaping about in a drunken rage: “What do I do with a stab blender?!” and I *told* you some woman managed to cut ALL her fingers off because she wasn’t paying attention….”
Impressing the Hot Interior Designer Marinara
To serve two:
A tray of Swiss brown mushies
400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
300 g of Marinara mix from a reputable yet swarthy fishmonger with a salty nickname
Juice of one lemon
Clump of flat leaf parsley (chopped)
Several sprigs of one Italian herb eg Oregano
Blob of honey (thanks to Nabakov)
Cayenne pepper (or dried chilli if your Aunt/Hot Interior Designer/Whom-ever doesn’t like cayenne, but who doesn’t like cayenne pepper? Weirdos, that’s who.)
One clove garlic chopped/crushed.
Pasta of choice
Grated parmesan garnish
Chop the mushies semi finely. Cook in a bit of olive oil.
Once done, chuck into blender with tomatoes and Italian herb.
Pour back into saucepan.
Add salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, honey.
Reduce on low heat in saucepan ’til thick. Stir to lessen volcanic spitting.
Put pasta on to boil.
When pasta is ready, turn off heat under sauce; add chopped flat leaf parsley and garlic and stir it through sauce.
Drain pasta, and cook marinara.
Cook marinara in deep fry pan quickly. Add lemon juice just before you turn all the bits of seafood over. I cook it with lid on to preserve the liquor.
When seafood is done, turn off heat, and pour the sauce into the deep fry pan. Stir thoroughly.
Add drained pasta and stir.
By now you will realise that there is more food than you need and that you should have bought 400 g of Marinara and served three people. Shrug. Top up wine glass.
That night I dreamt of a man who sacrificed his two unicorns and his soul to Bill Clinton, but I guess there are better ways to advertise that I have a loose concept of reality.
I miss my girlfriend.