Monday, October 31, 2011

Leftover Spaghetti Omelette

Leftovers are always a gift to busy mothers... one less meal to think up, just a matter of cooking up some rice and heating through the leftovers. When it comes to leftover spaghetti there’s an even better bonus – spaghetti omelette, or rather frittata, as it is the Italian rather than French version of eggs in a pan. Two out of three kids love it and my husband cooks extra pasta on purpose on his cooking night, just so I will make this the next day.

In Rome I used to love the frittata rolls served in the local Trastevere bar. Thick wodges of omelette filled with all sorts of tasty vegetables and sandwiched in a crusty roll: cheap, filling and satisfying to a student with fledgling gourmet inclinations. I don’t remember if they ever had spaghetti in, but I must have come across the combination somewhere in Italy that year, and have fond memories of it.

We usually have our spaghetti either aglio, olio, peperoncino (just garlic and oil with a little chilli) or with a tomato and bacon sauce. The leftovers of both work well brilliantly in a frittata. A handful of breadcrumbs, a sprinkling of parmesan, a scattering of chopped parsley, is all you need to add.

Here’s the recipe – quantities are vague and can be infinitely adapted, added to and generally changed!

Spaghetti Omelette/Frittata Recipe

Leftover spaghetti, sauced – about one generous serving
6 medium eggs
½ cup fine breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
2 teaspoons chopped parsley
Salt and pepper

Warm the leftover spaghetti through.
Beat the eggs together in a good sized bowl. Stir in the parmesan and breadcrumbs, and season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the parsley onto the spaghetti and stir the whole lot into the egg mix.

Heat a deepish heavy based frying pan (I use my Le Creuset 7”/18cm omelette pan), with a tiny amount of butter, over a medium low heat. Tip in the mixture. Cook slowly over a low heat, until it is set about 2/3 of the way through. The proper way to do this is to loosen the bottom, put a plate over the pan and turn it, returning the omelette to the pan to finish cooking... but I chicken out and cook the top under the grill for the last five minutes or so until just set.

Serve with salad and bread, or even eat cold in a sandwich.

I made this yesterday and the kids and their friends demolished almost all of it. I had to save the last piece in the photo for my husband or there’d have been trouble in camp!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Berry Muffins Too Early On A Weekend Morning

It’s early for a weekend morning. Consciousness dawns and with it a reminder that I need to bake muffins for my husband to take in to his photography workshop.

Semi-awake, it’s out to the mulberry tree, early sunshine flirting with clouds to see who will be the dominant partner today.

The tree is usually dripping with ripe berries, but it was well raided yesterday and I have to look carefully under leaves and in between branches to fill my cup.

Sift together dry ingredients.

Mix together wet ones.

Fill the trays with muffin papers, because berries stick like crazy to unlined tins.

And by the time the rest of the family is ready for breakfast, after watching the first half of  Victor/Victoria, the tune of Jazz Hot is humming through my mind and I feel like a supermum, golden muffins in serried rows waiting to salute the breakfasters. I didn’t tell them I made them for the workshop... not especially for them!

Here's the berry muffin recipe.

Or if you're feeling in a virtuous muffin mood, how about yoghurt and oat muffins
or branflake muffins?

Have a happy weekend!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Spring Festival in Pictures

Two weeks have flown past since our spring festival, blurring memories so quickly, but the photos live to tell the tale. The spring theme is water and flowers - a bowl of water filled with flowers is the centrepiece of our circle.

Two friends were charged with decorating the circle, given a selection of jam jars, a pair of secateurs and free reign over the garden and wild flowers.

Little posies surrounded the circle, interspersed with brown paper candle bags to glow as darkness fell.

Other friends got creative with flower crowns, paper flowers, real flowers, raffia and anything else that imagination provided.

Mine was all lavender, perilously strung together in a raffia plait.

Another stalwart design friend, resisted out the onslaughts of miggies and pollen to create a fantastic archway to lead us into the sandpit.

And the kids provided the water feature, working hard on a castle that incorporated the hosepipe into its design.

Then at last, as the sun dipped below the horizon, we were finally ready to follow the river of light into the circle, taking a basket of fresh flowers and jugs of water to pour into the water bowl on the way.