I am very excited by leftovers. They can be nicer than the original meal. Last night I think that I surpassed myself using up what I had to hand. Giving out the recipe would be meaningless. It is never to be repeated but I’ll give you a rough idea.
While cooking half a bag of penne I started making a bolognaise type sauce with chopped, onion, carrot and garlic sweated gently in a big pan. Then I went off piste. Instead of the usual mince, I added bits of peppered steak and a scrunched hamburger from our butcher’s special deal barbeque packs. We’re a three person house and there’s usually one item left over. Chunks of a chorizo sausage that had been lurking in back of the fridge for way too long was a fine addition Our five a day quota was boosted by cooked cabbage, peas and mushrooms, leftover veggies from our Sunday dinner. A few roughly smashed roast potatoes went into the mix too. Of course they don’t count as vegetables if you ask the food police. All that I needed to turn that lot into a sauce was to add seasoning, shakes of dried mixed herbs and paprika, a squirt of tomato puree and a trusty tin of chopped tomatoes. I mixed in the cooked pasta, popped it in a massive oven dish and topped off the lot with some very fine grated vintage cheddar. Except one end. Louis’ girlfriend was over and she’s intolerant to diary. Hot Stuff had a little moan. He is very possessive over that cheese and doesn’t like it being used for cooking.
A twenty minute blitz in a 200 degree oven and out came a totally untrendy pasta bake. Comfort food at its finest. There’s plenty left over to take to work for today’s lunch too.