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Monthly Archives: October 2012

20th October: Not Bloody Anchovy Pasta!

I’m feeling faint.

I’m so sorry for the lack of food-based output of late. I don’t quite know how I seem to have less time now that I’m one child down all week. I could blame the grinding tedium of the daily school run, or the endless rounds of packed lunch sarnies. But I think we all know that my main source of hilarious mothering material is now under someone else’s care for around half his waking hours.

I didn’t realise quite how calm life could be!

I’m feeling faint because I can’t actually believe that I am all alone in my house on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Not only that, but I have also just spent a delightful morning doing a cookery course. Tapas since you’re asking, and yes the sangria was flowing like a river down my greedy gullet!

Getting out is quite a rarity, at least during my children’s waking hours. I spend the morning being an utter control freak. He is taking all three kids to a birthday party while I’m out. I lay out all their clothes for him. He has been known to dress them as Romanian orphans if left to his own devices. Mixing up the boys’ clothes is a particular trait of His. Picture an oversized hoodie, half-mast jeans and tiny undies which vanish up the bum like a Borat Mankini. Smear foodstuff and felt tip on to faces. You get the idea.

I pack a bag containing gift, card and essentials. He sits smirking at my mayhem in his pants.
My friend arrives and we set off for the cookery school, me seething about how I have to do everything, about how he was just SITTING THERE IN.HIS.PANTS!!!! Gah! We pass the journey exchanging annoying man tales.

But I’m wrong. I arrive home after my super morning, to find that Mr Pants has actually been busy. Not only did he cope with all three just fine at the crazy soft-play party place (although this has yet to be verified by independent adjudicators!) But he’s even tidied both house and garden. Then he tells me he’s taking all three out on a bike ride. So here I am. Feeling faint, and not just a little bit guilty about my pant-based rant. Must learn to relinquish control to very capable husband.

You may not be surprised to learn that I am also a control-freak in the kitchen. It is rare that He is allowed to meddle. I think it’s partly because I’m in situ and have to cook something for the kids each night. However, if they’re on frozen beige goods, He may be allowed to make our tea. He has his repertoire, mostly thrifty dishes made in an attempt to prove to me that there is plenty of food in the house and no we do not need to order takeaway. Humph.

This tends to end up with me sulking as he makes Anchovy Pasta. Then I taste it and remember how delicious it is then spend the rest of the evening apologising for being such a spoilt brat. Life is a rollercoaster baby!

The recipe came from my lovely, thrifty kiwi cousin. My travels around New Zealand and Australia involved spending money I didn’t have, drinking solidly from dawn til dusk and piling on about 4 stone. My cousin came over here to work hard and to very sensibly pay off his student loans. Hence the thrifty recipes. I remember clearly eating this for the first time with my him and his lovely wife in Cambridge. Miraculous, since, as a foursome, we spent most of our time together completely hammered. It must have been a taste sensation to stick in my booze-addled mind.

Put some spaghetti on to boil. Take a tin of anchovies in olive oil, tip the contents (oil and all) into a wide pan over a medium heat. Add in a clove of crushed garlic, some chopped red chilli (or a pinch of chilli flakes). Cook off until the garlic is soft. Add in most of a tube of tomato purée, a tablespoon of capers, a handful of chopped parsley. Drain the pasta but reserve some of the cooking liquid. Use this to thin out the sauce to your desired consistency. I never do. I love the dryness off it, but knock yourselves out! Now top with an excessive amount of Parmesan and some black pepper and hoover up the deliciousness.

Always tastes nicer than takeaway, and about £20 cheaper. But, if you see him, please don’t let on that I admitted that. We’ve just had our 18 year anniversary, and I’ve got this far without ever having to admit that he occasionally knows best 😉

[footnote: WE DID IT! We completed the 40km bike ride and raised £2685 for Fusspot’s Pre-School. Thanks to all who supported us! ]