– It’s taken me almost a week to write this but, oh well –
Last Saturday, after work our dear friend, Dan Philips (Director, Author and all round cuddly thesp) and his awesome boyf Dan came over for a catch-up and some grub before they both headed back to London.
As I had to go to work we Nigella’d the fuck out of it, and prepped the dessert, so we wouldn’t have to do anything complicated when they came round, even the dinner was un-complicated. We chose a rustic, weekly favourite of ours:
Funghi e Pancetta Tagliatelle.
You’ll need (serves 4 big portions 😉 )
- 1 onion
- 1 big tbs of garlic cream cheese
- half a punnet of chestnut mushrooms
- Worcestershire sauce
- 1tbs of dried thyme
- 200g pancetta
- sprig of fresh thyme
- 1tsb of Dijon mustard
- a glass full of sherry
- dash of Worcester sauce
- splash of milk/single cream
- 400g tagliatelle
- handful of rocket
- salt & pepper
- some parmesan
- 20g soaked porcini mushrooms
Whilst I was in work, Tom had chopped roughly half a pack of chestnut mushrooms and 20g of soaked dried porcini mushrooms and a whole onion (chopped finely).
When I got back in, a quick change, and they were here, with two bottles of good quality Chardonnay to go with the dish (Thanks boys!)
We put the oven on to heat up the Ciabatta to accompany it, and we started cooking.
In my heavy,shallow 70s mustard Descoware pan I fried off 200g of chopped pancetta up and rendered it down until crispy, then the onions went in, cook until translucent in the bacon fat. Now add the dried thyme and the mushrooms and the sherry. place Fry off the alcohol then place the lid on to let it steam for a couple of minutes with the bacon-y thyme sherry juices. Now put the pasta on, salt liberally (as the Goddess Nigella says ‘as salty as the Med’) and cook until aldente. Now to finish the sauce, spoon in the cream cheese the mustard, the porcini liquor, dash of Worcestershire sauce and fresh thyme, and a splash of milk to thin. Once the pasta is done, strain and place in the pan with the sauce, season with plenty of black pepper, and stir through some fresh, peppery rocket until it wilts slightly. And Serve, with some shavings of Parmasan on top!
We paired this with some crispy, warm, fresh ciabatta and some homemade rosemary and garlic butter (I had made the previous night). It was sublime!
As a palate cleanser, we had a shot glass full of my apple, basil and mint granita (recipe here!) to get us ready for the tower of rich, cloying goodness that was my ultimate brownie served with vanilla ice cream and raspberry and white pepper coulis.
(The said brownies)
To make these you’ll need:
- 200g good quality dark chocolate
- 185g unsalted butter
- 100g (or near abouts I ate some of it xD ) of good white chocolate
- 50g good milk chocolate
- 80g frozen raspberries
- 40g cacao powder
- 10ml amaretto
- 85g plain flour
- 20g ground almonds
- 3 large eggs
- 275g caster sugar
Cube the butter and snap the plain chocolate into pieces – melt gently over a bain-marie. When it’s combined into a glossy mess, leave to cool (so that it doesn’t cook the eggs later on). Sieve the flour, almonds and the cocoa powder into a medium bowl. Separately, prepare your milk and white chocolate by chopping into roughly even pieces. Using a hand blender, mix the eggs and the sugar together on high speed, until the mixture starts to double in size. This can take anywhere from three minutes plus (depending on the power of your blender). Fold the eggs into the chocolate mixture gently, making sure you don’t batter the air out of the mixture. After that, fold in the dry ingredients THEN the wet ingredients (fruit and chocolate pieces). Your mixture should be thick and gooey. Pour and spatula into a 20cm square tin (complete with greased sides and a baking paper base) and cook on 180 degrees C for 25 minutes. After that, give it a shake. If it’s too sloppy it’ll wobble like jelly. Return to the oven and cook for a further five to ten minutes – you’re looking for a papery crust and just a slight wobble. When you’re satisfied, take it out and let it cool. Cut it into cubes and sprinkle with icing sugar. And Serve it GURL!
The coulis we had with it was made in advance for a cheesecake I had made, and was out of the freezer. It’s a simple mix of 90g raspberries, 40g icing sugar and a heaped tsp of ground white pepper. Mix with a stick blender, and strain.
We accompanied it with glasses of rich, syrupy Pedro Ximénez. Mmm. All in all it was an amazing night!
As I’m writing this I’m waiting for Brother Lloyd to pick me up, to go to Cardiff and queue for Record Store Day (yay queueing -_-)
-Trust me, try those brownies, they are divine as the drag queen herself x