Hello! Check out the recipe below for spinach and wild garlic pesto pasta.
Work’s been super busy and I make no apology for the lack of posts. It’s all I can do not to tear my car into the central reservation of an evening. Sometimes I think I’d like to give up working and stay at home wearing the same underwear for four days on the trot (you know the type, male readers – change them when you’ve got to fold them with a karate chop) but I know it would end in ruin, not least because I couldn’t possibly be one of those people who prepare dinner for their husbands and push the hoover around inbetween arguing on Facebook in barely-English and playing Bejewelled. I watched fifteen minutes of Jeremy Kyle the other day and it was eye-opening – at least, eye-opening in the sense that I almost held open my eyes and poured hot metal into them rather than watch the show. I just can’t understand it. Going on TV all cankles-blazing to yell incoherently to your other half whilst some smug envelope-ripper alternates between blowing spittle in your face and cowering behind his security guards, who stand on the stage like they’ve fallen off the back of a lorry in a blizzard of creatine and can’t remember the syllable for ‘HELP’. It’s repellent. If you thought your partner was pounding himself into your sister / mother / crudely-drawn approximation of a vagina sprayed on the side of a bus shelter, why go onto national TV to get ‘the troof’? Is the lure of a night’s stay in a Travelodge with all the Taybarns’ beige food and Bellabrusco you can manage really so strong? It must be!
Oops. Side-tracked. Anyway, some GOOD NEWS for you readers. We finally managed to get around to updating our recipe page. This might not sound terribly exciting until you remember our previous bank of recipes was just a giant list and made for a rubbish read. So we put our thinking caps on, loaded up photoshop to make some snappy graphics, and split all the recipes out via their key ingredients. This means if you’re stuck for inspiration on what to do with your pork (PUT SOMETHING ON THE END OF IT) or your breasts (PUT THEM AWAY, THEY’RE FRIGHTENING), you can see at a glance what to make. Give it a go by clicking here. I have a request – share that link wherever you can. I see so many posts from people saying they need recipe ideas and there’s over 300 in there! Thanks.
Tonight’s recipe is a bit fancy but hey, if I can’t let my early onset male pattern baldness down once and a while, what can I do? It uses wild garlic which is growing abundantly outdoors at the moment. Take a walk into any woodlands and you’ll find, amongst the spent custard-catchers and dog muck, strong scents of garlic wafting up from the ground, also known as ramsons. They have big, smooth flat leaves and right about now, tiny white flowers. They’re distinctive but still, be careful – don’t be picking anything you’re unsure of, I can’t have anyone’s death on my conscious, not least because I don’t want my facebook feed full of wailing and ‘SHARE IF U MISS HER IGKNORR IF YOUR GLAD SHE DEAD’ pictures. Do step away from the well-worn paths so you’re not getting a plant with a lacquer of dog piss too. You can find more information here on the BBC website, which includes the fact it’s also known as Stinkin’ Jenny. Which let’s be honest, would totally be my drag name if I ever went that way.
Now look, if you’re not a fan of stumbling about in the woods looking for plants and risking life and limb in the search of a few leaves, then you can swap it out for spinach and some grated garlic, and we won’t tell. You can even lie and still tell your other half that you’ve been out hunting for pleasure in the woods, although you might want to clarify that this doesn’t mean you want to be back there later in the evening bent over a Vauxhall Astra’s bonnet whilst a barely interested plumber tries to fluff himself to half-mast. Is it just my world that requires these clarifications? Good lord. It really is worth hunting out the wild garlic though – for one, it’s free, which will appeal to all those misers who are tighter than two coats of paint, and secondly, it’s so very tasty! Admittedly, be careful not to do what I did when I was a young’un. Buoyed with the excitement of a walk in the woods, I filled a carrier bag with wild garlic leaves and flowers and took it into school to show my teacher, who, with all the enthusiasm of a teacher one week away from seeing the devil children out of the door for the final time, told me to stick it in my locker and stop showing off.
Showing off? Christ I know we were a poor family but I think even I could have done better than some bloody garlic on Show and Tell. I could have brought in my Kerplunk with the sticks missing, for example. Short game.
Anyway, it stayed in my locker for eight weeks, heating up nicely in the summer holiday, then rotting down into a putrid, gloopy mess which slicked down between the lockers and out onto the carpet. When they re-opened the classroom a couple of days before school came back the smell was so overwhelming that they had to put the classroom AND the adjoining classroom out of use for a week or so to air it out. It’s amazing, even then I had the ability to befoul a room with my odours. Anyway, who’s laughing now? Not the teacher, she smelled like a freshly cut dump for two weeks whilst the residual smell permeated her every pore. WHAT AM I LIKE. So yes: by all means pick the garlic, but don’t bloody store it anywhere you wish to breathe the air of. Oh, and if you’re concerned that a diet of flowers, leaves and garlic is going to leave you skinnier than a vegan’s dog, throw some plain chicken in there. It’s that easy. This makes four servings. It assumes that you’re using 4 x HEA (i.e. one per person/serving).
to make spinach and wild garlic pesto pasta, you’ll need:
- 200g of spinach
- a clutch of wild garlic leaves, washed, and a bunch of the flowers from the top
- enough pasta for four people
- 180g of ricotta (90g is one HEA, who knew?)
- two tablespoons of good olive oil (12 syns)
- 60g of parmesan (2 x HEA)
- salt and pepper
- chive flowers if you have them
to make spinach and wild garlic pesto pasta, you should:
- cook up your pasta
- boil your spinach and garlic leaves for a minute or two – you want it softened but not mush
- blend the spinach and leaves together with the oil, pinch of salt and pepper, together with 50g or so of the parmesan
- you don’t want it looking like soup – keep a bit of texture
- add the ricotta and stir it through
- stir into the pasta
- decorate with chive flowers and garlic flowers and a bit more parmesan
This keeps really well for a lunch the next day.
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