As a big fan of Jack Monroe, and his Sainsbury's adverts and his blog, and his recipes in the newspapers, I've found myself reading The Guardian a lot more, to see how 'real people' create 'real food'.
Inspired by the latest recipe for 'Make Your Own Gnocchi'
I've decided to concentrate on pasta this month, and more importantly, what it is?
Pasta is made out of wheat.
But sometimes it is made out of wholewheat (which is better for your children if they never leave their room).
And sometimes it is made out of eggs.
One of my favourite websites Fit Chick Tricks .com says this:
"Whether it is angle hair, fettuccini, elbow, or macaroni, white or wheat has become one of the great debates, right along with boxers or briefs, and chocolate or vanilla".
I'm going to use Tesco Value Spaghetti because it is currently only 20p.
(Up yours Aldi! With your so-called 'cheap' 29p pastas!)
I'm also going to use Smash mash because there is little chance of it going green, sprouting triffids or making my veg box dirty.
Gnocchi is essentially pasta stuffed with mash.
If like me, you have only tried it at middle-class students' houses, you'll know that there is always a great chance they will overcook it, and it will taste a bit like wallpaper paste.
My recipe deals with this issue by TIMING the pasta as it boils.
I'm going to use Tesco instant potato instead of Smash because these blogs are about cooking on a budget.
It's essentially the same thing, although if you read the ingredients you'll notice there are a lot less adverts for other Cadbury's products on the packet, thus reducing the overall net unit cost.
1. Boil a kettle
2. Add HALF of the water to a saucepan (any pan will do - it doesn't have to be specifically for sauce)
3. Put the saucepan on a heat source ('source' not 'sauce') and when boiling again, add the spaghetti, stir it about a bit, get it boiling again, and then look at your mobile phone to see what time it is?
Add ten minutes to that number (i.e. 6-45pm + 10 = 6-55 or 18-45 + 10 = 18-55) and remove from heat when cooked.
4. Use the other HALF of the kettle water to make a paste with the potato.
(Be careful. Too much will make it gloopy. Too little will make it crusty.)
5. Mix the potato with the pasta.
Gnocchi Inglesi-style, and all for under a pound!
Instant Mashed Potato