As the opportunity to eat out has obviously very much been taken out of our hands for the time being (although there are some places providing takeaway too thankfully), it's time to see what delights lurk in the back of our cupboards and what we can make with them.
I am sure we all saw this coming, but like most of the people I know, we didn't stockpile. I just made sure we had a couple of extra tins and a tiny bit of extra pasta (vital in a house with a fussy four-year-old) and that was it... As well as counting on the likes of Rawberry, Openhouse Deli, Hoxton Bakehouse and Projects for food orders (and The Farmers Butcher for our Easter lunch!), I am looking at this as an opportunity to use up what we have. Who knows, we might even get through last year's Christmas cake before May (that will be a first!)...
There have been a few "what on earth was I thinking" moments as I got to the very back of the cupboard (tinned lychees, two cans of pumpkin puree and far too many vacuum-packed chestnuts than anyone needs) from the days when we all took supermarket shopping for granted. I aim to give you a few store cupboard staple meal ideas over the next few weeks (or however long this all lasts!). Starting with Orrechiette with Kale, Chorizo and Cannellini beans (which I actually promised to write up last week, but having suddenly been thrown in at the deep end with my new job as headmistress, it kind of didn't get done)...
I had been waiting for the perfect recipe opportunity to cook some precious orecchiette from Toscanaccio, and with some sorry looking Kale that needed to be used and a chorizo ring approaching its use-by date, there was no time like the present...
An Italian friend once made me a dish with lightly fried bread crumbs on top instead of extra parmesan, and it really takes it to a new level, so try not to skip this bit. Plus - fried bread (I have always loved fried bread!)...
Ingredients (serves 4):
500g grams Kale (if you don't have that much don't panic, or if you only have spinach instead that's good too!);
500g dried Orecchiette;
2tbsp Olive Oil;
250g Chorizo sliced;
1 Tin drained Cannellini Beans;
A couple of good handfuls of grated parmesan;
1tsp grated lemon zest;
A couple of handfuls of bread crumbs.
Wash and roughly chop the kale (removing any woody stems). Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the kale and cook until it still has a bite but it's not far from being done. Remove from the pan, drain, and put it to one side before cooking the orecchiette. This should be cooked until al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta water.
In a large heavy-bottomed frying pan, heat 1tbsp olive oil and fry the chorizo until lightly browned. Add the kale, pasta, and the beans to the pan, along with the cooking water, and cook covered with a lid for a further two minutes. Remove from heat, add the parmesan, lemon zest, and butter. In another small pan, heat the remaining 1tbsp olive oil, and lightly fry the breadcrumbs. Dish up the pasta between four plates, top with the crumbs and enjoy (hopefully)...