Sunday, May 15, 2011

the hunter and gatherer

Another week in the desert and more new experiences to report.  Yesterday we headed off into the wilderness to do man things.  Four wheel driving.  Fishing.  Crabbing.  Beer drinking.  General exploring.... Being the city slicker that I am - I was well out of my depth!!

About an hour and a half out of town is a secret fishing spot which I was lucky enough to be introduced to.  The journey out was interesting to say the least... Travelling along a 5 metre high levy that is only just as wide as our car with a sheer drop to water on either side was enough to have me holding my breath for the entire trip....

We caught bucket loads of fish, I was introduced to a bunch of great people and had an absolute ball!  The countryside in this part of the world is simply magical.  The natural beauty is so impressive!

Given we returned late and were extremely exhausted, we simply cooked some of the fish fillets on the BBQ in butter and served with a squeeze of lemon.  You just can't beat fresh fish pan fried in butter!  We plan to cook the left over fillets during the week.  I am thinking of trying something new - poaching in a bath of soy sauce, fish sauce and sesame oil.  Will let you know how I go.

Another big weekend had me struggling to find the motivation to cook something exciting for Sunday dinner.  I turned to the latest Gourmet Traveller for some cues and found what I needed.  I decided on a simple pasta - my take on pork and fennel sausage meat pasta.

You'll need this:-

1.5kg of italian sausages (pork, fennel and italian herbs), skins removed - you only want to use the meat of the sausage
1 x white onion, diced
2 x red chillies, finely chopped (seeds included - I like a bit of a chilli hit to this dish)
2 x cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 x cup of dry white wine
1 large handful of green olives (marinated in chilli and garlic)
750ml tomato passata
1 x handful of torn fresh basil leaves
Fresh baby rocket leaves to serve
1 x large bag of dried rigatoni
Grated darmesan to serve
Olive oil

You'll need to do this:

Add olive oil, garlic and onion to a pan and cook on medium-high heat.  Once onion is translucent, add chilli and the sausage meat.  Using a wooden spoon, break up the sausage meat.  Allow to fry for approx. 10 minutes.

Add white wine to the sausage mixture and then allow to reduce (approx. 3 minutes).  Once the aclohol has reduced, add passata and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the roughly chopped olives and then remove from heat and allow to rest.

Meanwhile, add pasta to plenty of boiling water and cook as per instructions on packet.

Combine pasta with sauce and stir through the basil. 

Serve with baby rocket, a drizzle of olive oil and parmesan cheese.

Another busy week ahead and I can't wait to see what new experiences are in store. I hope everyone has a cracking week.

Happy eating!!!


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