No boiler. No heat. No comment.
Since the start of the Death of a Boiler saga on Monday, I have found myself spending more and more time at the house of my lovely neighbour P. (Troy‘s owner). This is partly because she has a working shower and central heating (!), partly because she can be relied upon to open a bottle of cava within minutes of my arrival, and partly because we just get on really well. So far this week we have discussed boiler and kitchen renovations (unsurprisingly!), cats, movies, restaurants, art and our families. Tonight P. asked me whether I resembled my mom, a question I haven’t had to answer in ages.
Physically, I have been told by a number of people (and the mirror!) that the resemblance sometimes verges on the uncanny. To look us square in the face side by side, you wouldn’t really say so, but try a 3/4 profile and you’ll see what I mean. Then there was the similarity in our voices – many a hapless telephone caller launched into a discussion with one of us thinking it was the other, to their mortifrication. And let’s not forget our identical shoe sizes, our identical figures (thanks for my tiny waist mom, but you could have kept the thick ankles!), and our protruding ulnae that gave our wrists the same distionctive bump. (A colleague once told my mom the smooth, round protrusion of the end of her ulna was the sexiest thing he’d ever seen on a woman – she quite correctly filed him under F for Freak, Fetishist and Finished.)
But apart from our physical resemblance, there are other parallels too. Like my mom, I am an inveterate collector of recipes from the back of packets, boxes and tins. Her philosophy was always that the manufacturer obviously wants you to buy their product again, so any recipe on the back of the packaging is going to show off the product to best advantage, and the recipe was therefore likely to be worth keeping. So the back of a packet is where I got my go-to tiramisu recipe, as well as the recipes for peppermint crisp pudding, double peanut butter cookies - and this pasta sauce.
The recipe was originally from the back of a packet of sun-dried tomatoes in South Africa and travelled to London neatly pasted into my recipe index book. It’s quick, easy, a little bit luxurious and quite simply one of my favourite pasta sauces. Enjoy!
CHICKEN, SUN-DRIED TOMATO & MUSTARD PASTA (serves 4)
500g chicken breasts cut into strips
salt and pepper
Canola or sunflower oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, chopped
8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
60ml dry white wine
250ml single cream
15ml wholegrain mustard
15ml chopped fresh basil (optional)
Boil 500g pasta according to package instructions.
Heat a little oil in a heavy frying pan and add the onions and garlic. Season the chicken strips and when the onion begins to soften, add the chicken to the pan. Stir-fry until the chicken strips are just cooked.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes, wine, cream and mustard. Stir continuously until the sauce thickens slightly, then add the basil, check for seasoing and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve on a bed of noodles.
I am submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights, an event that was started by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast and in which I don’t participate nearly often enough. But how could I resist this week when it’s my dear friend Inge of Vanielje Kitchen who has returned from blogging limbo to host? You still have until tomorrow to get your entries in… make it presto!