The Fella and I spent this weekend in Melbourne, where we had a frickin’ deadly time. We were visiting with some of my good friends and had a very enjoyable night out with them on Saturday. Needless to say we were feeling a tincy wincy bit delicate yesterday morning. So in the name of recovery, we all sat around in our jim-jams, drinking coffee, eating sweets and watching reality TV. It was possibly a perfect Sunday morning.
I’m a bit of a closet reality TV fan; my favourites include Four Weddings, Come Dine with Me and One Born Every Minute. But reality TV in Australia takes things to a whole new level; it’s all just so damn dramatic. For example, yesterday we watched a number of episodes of My Kitchen Rules. The premise is very similar to Come Dine with Me; however the contestants not only cook for each other, but also for two professional chefs, who then rate the meal. However unlike CDWM, it was all so very very super SERIOUS. There was minus craic, but plenty of dramatic music and lingering looks. Not so many ridiculous drunken antics but more food snobbery than you could shake a stick at. It was just not enjoyable.
Perhaps I’m wrong, but I think most people just like easy to cook and eat simple and delicious food? Surely food snobbery just alienates people and makes the kitchen seem even scarier than it should? With that thought in mind I decided to share with you all my quickest, most yumbo pasta-surprise recipe. Haute cuisine it ain’t but it sure tastes goooood.
Creamy, basily, mushroomy pasta
Makes enough for two hungry reality TV fans.
250 g of any type of pasta you fancy
3 tbsp olive oil
200 g mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 spring onions, chopped roughly
150 g cream cheese
Large handful of fresh basil, very roughly chopped and a bit extra to garnish
Large handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Freshly cracked black pepper.
First off, pop a pot of water on to boil and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.
Meanwhile, place half the oil into a hot pan and brown half the mushrooms. Once these are done, put them aside and brown the remainder. This way they will go nice and brown, instead of soggy. Once all the mushrooms are done, return them to the pan with the garlic and spring onions, allow to cook for about 3 minutes. Turn down the heat and add the cream cheese, stirring until it’s all melted.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add the cream cheese and mushroom sauce, tomatoes and basil and mix together thoroughly. Serve with some additional basil and a generous sprinkling of black pepper.
This dish varies depending on what I have in the fridge. If there’s no cream cheese, I’ll use crème fraiche instead, if I’ve no basil, I’ll use some pesto, it’s all pretty flexible really. But either way, it’s always absolutely perfect for balancing on your knee and eating in front of the latest episode of Come Dine with Me Ireland.