Mushroom pasta

Yeah, so posts have slowed down alot in the past month, what with valuable time now taken up w/ work (can't talk about it), BDs (don't know french well enough to talk about it) and Farscape (really not worth talking about). ((Altho, by-the-by, if people thought Gaius Baltar was the pinnacle of self-serving sci-fi Brit brats, they obv haven't experienced Dominar Rygel XVI condescend from his hover chair)). Practically the only activities I CAN talk about are everyday banalities like cooking. I haven't cooked since I came to Brussels, b/c I was staying in catered halls (where the food was surprisingly good) and then when I moved out, I reverted back to my old MO of eating absolute trash. I'm talking doritos washed down w/ beer lows, here. (Tho shd say, this being Belgium, the beer is totally worth drinking at every opportunity. Paying a euro for a can (a can!) of Leffe DEMANDS that you develop an alcohol dependency post-haste.)

Today, I finally got myself together. Went to the local hypermarket to buy supplies. Middle class student stuff: 2l olive oil, large bag o' pasta, bottle o' passata, garlic, onions, milk, museli, black pepper w/ the plastic grinder-cap, chili flakes, mushrooms (cause meat/fish/cheese is expensive). Oh, and beer of course. Go home, this is what I did, and what you should do too, if you make a habit of listening to people on the internet. Pour a goodly amount of olive oil in a pan, and put on a low heat. No need to be frugal, you've just bought two litres of the stuff. And you bought two litres of the stuff because this is the ONE THING that both tastes divine and has ZERO negative health consequences. Eat it every day, it will make you live forever. Word is bond. Dice up two onions. I was using a plate and a serrated knife, so you can imagine how neat my dicing was. No matter. Throw them into the pan. Yr gonna cook these mofos slow, make 'em melt. I slightly burnt mine, because I was busy with the garlic, but you will do better!

Garlic. I decided on four cloves, because I'm not sharing my breathing-space w/ anyone this evening. Chop, as fine as you can. Plate and serrated knife meant mine were pretty chunky. Go get them mushrooms, wash five or six, and slice them any which way you like. Chuck all that in the pan. Put a little bit of milk in it, the fiends love it -- immortal words from Raekwon the Chef. You should follow his advice. In all things. Also pepper, lots of it. I'm a six twists of the mill kinda guy. Chili also vital. You don't have money for fresh basil / oregano / other herby shit. Yr going for the heavy artillery. Spice, spice, spice. Finally, a couple of spoonfuls of the passata. Don't over-tomato, you don't want the sauce too sharp. Plus, this stuff costs a fortune and you want it to last the next fortnight.

By this time, you should have had the kettle boiling. No? I always forget as well. Boiling water in the pan, heat up. Put salt in the water. My pasta of choice is fusilli, called macaroni by the ignorant. Chuck two handfuls in (if yr as hungry as I was) and boil that shit until it's cooked. Not overcooked. People always overcook pasta. It should be chewy, not soupy. Extract and taste samples every two-three minutes until you get it right.

Right, by this time the sauce should have reduced down to a paste. Pour some of the pasta water into it to get it runny again. Then drain the pasta, throw it in the pan w/ the sauce. Spoon it round for a minute until it's good and mixed, and then pour it on a plate. By now you should be ravenous, so I shouldn't have to tell you to eat the thing immediately. Two three clementines for dessert (they're in season now), then lie down and type-up your activities for the internet to read. Then go watch Farscape.


  1. Anonymous16.10.11

    Farscape is most certainly worth talking about! I would suggest to give it until the third season, when the show becomes much more serialized than its previous seasons. The third season is when the all the elements of the show began to "click", so to speak. In the same way that shows like Angel or Fringe didn't "click" until their third seasons as well.

  2. I used to watch Farscape on the BBC in the afternoons, and as far as I can work out now, back then I was watching the later seasons. Now I'm going back and catching up w/ what I've missed. There's a huge gap between the two. I'm waiting for when the show becomes what I remember it was -- i.e. amazing. But in the middle of season one, things are still very ropey. It's very enjoyable, tho. Particularly like the fast-paced way episode plots are established.

    It's hard not to react the way Charlie Brooker reacts to the notion of watching two seasons before a show starts delivering -- he said he didn't have TIME to wade through slosh until he got to the good parts. I think you really need to enjoy something about the show already to stick with it through the dry patches. Luckily, Farscape's first season is very enjoyable, partly because it IS a bit crap. It's also doing some nice things about the development of family within the ship, which gives me good vibes.