Basta Pasta


If all else fails and one is sunk in a deep gloom, eat a good pasta! Even a not so good pasta. It never fails to lift the spirit especially if accompanied by a bit of a 2014 vintage Shiraz so fresh off the vine and so rough it even cleans the cutlery as well as the palate. We had an Aldi special at $ 5.99. A cheeky but ambitious little number full of cigar-box ambience and middle utterly retrievable but lingering autumnal wind, reminiscent of a Vivaldi under a plane tree at Italy’s Bressanone or Brixon (during the forgotten war with Austria when we were there). Phew…

A few evenings ago there was a surplus of fresh pasta. It’s sauce retrieved from the deep freezer department of our fridge. It must have been created by Helvi who excels in pasta sauce like no one else that I know or even don’t know. After thawing I cooked and boiled the pasta. It was a 5 minute pasta or 4 minutes if you like el dente. I did a six minute job in consideration of the state of my recently obtained new dente.

The pasta was heavenly, almost a honeymoon of spoon and fork. But a full packet of pasta meant there was a lot to be saved for future gourmet pleasures. I am always happy for two o’clock pm to arrive. I can then start mulling over the coming meal. Not so much mulling as imagining the food to be sampled. H and I do try and make the evening meal a ‘special’. I don’t want to imply we eat lobster or imbibe a $ 1200.-Grange. No, it is more of a desire to make things from the ingredients of a sow’s ear, if you get my gist or even a drift. It is a form of art I have been polishing for some time. I love the stove and it loves me. It is a totally symbiotic relationship.

Last night I baked the previous surplus pasta. I dunked half a litre of milk in which I had stirred in two eggs, pepper some salt and (brazenly) a chopped up home grown and very hot chili, over the lot. I was copious with the cheese which I grated over the lot.I baked it for about twenty minutes on 200c.

Helvi had two helpings and I noticed rapid chewing. Nothing is as rewarding as spousal chewing on a dish cooked with love. The photo above shows the dish before eating. My boot and leg is there for a reason. The lid of the oven has developed a will of its own and tends to want to close. I have to have words with my stove. I think it must be spring-loaded and I wanted to take a photo to immortalise the event. The lid seems to have different ideas.

Giving a leg-up to pasta

Giving a leg-up to pasta

So, I’ll stop now and say the obvious…Enjoy!

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14 Responses to “Basta Pasta”

  1. M-R Says:

    REALLY glad to see the results of your mooted meal, Gerard ! – it looks simply heavenly ! I shall do this. It may not work, as my following other people’s recipes so rarely does.As to why not, I believe it has to do with the variations of oven heats, and so forth. But I SHALL TRY !!!! 🙂 And goodonyermate !


  2. M-R Says:

    P.S. Non è mai ‘basta pasta’ – MAI !


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, exactly. Give it a go M-R. I am sure you are a shy secret gourmet chef in disquise as an excellent scrittore. ( or vice versa)They all are. 😉

      In the late fifties pasta was re-introduced to my mother in the form of…wait now… spag.sandwiches I was not surprised at Barry Humphries immortal phrase. ‘Who has opened their lunch box’, referring to school boy/girl farting underneath their desks. I don’t think my school going brothers and sister ever had those, nor the much feared banana sandwich.

      Not that Dutch food is anything to write home about. I do like and so does H. the pickled Herring on a crispy roll. Smoked eel is another favourite of mine but not H. She doesn’t like anything smoked.


  3. Andrew Says:

    There’s nothing to beat a good pasta, Gerard. It seems you are the pasta master. No basta about it. I thought you were cooking a boot when I first looked. I have never touched our oven so I don’t know whether it is spring loaded or not.


  4. Patti Kuche Says:

    Nothing more attractive to a woman than a man who has a symbiotic relationship with a stove!


  5. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Just finished breakfast but I could eat this in a N.Y minute. Looks delicious. My former oven which deserted me after 45 years, had a broken spring so I ditched it and bought another which so far is obedient.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Loved it all, but especially the first para.


  7. petspeopleandlife Says:

    A good man is a good cook and a good husband. Lucky Helvi and lucky you who knows how and likes to cook. A delectable looking dish in the pic, Gerard.


  8. Lottie Nevin Says:

    I absolutely agree with you about pasta. It’s the ultimate comfort food especially with lashings of chilli and cheese. Perfect. I’m envious of your oven even though it has a mind of its own. I’ve been oven-less for 8 months now – I can’t wait for the heady day when I can walk in to a shop and buy one!! Messing about trying to roast things in the wood fire has been a bit hit and miss, more miss than hit to be honest so I’ve been cooking everything on the top ‘a la plancha’ . I add chilli to almost everything but Irishman’s not so keen so I have a jar of chilli flakes/pods/powder permanently on the table so that I can ‘heat’ things up the way that I like – Scorchio!


  9. gerard oosterman Says:

    Our lust for pasta gets rekindled every time we smell garlic or drink a latte coffee. Good for you to have your own jar of chilli.
    We are in tandem with our chilli habits but|I am not in sympathy with vegemite’ After many years we compromised and I have given in to lentils and oat porridge and she can have her jar of brown.


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