Posts Tagged ‘Pasta’

Pasta Sauce

October 30, 2021

IMG_2763pasta sauce

Pasta Sauce

This dish is simple to make and was one of my late wife Helvi’s most favourite dish . The magic ingredients are a combination of garlic, fresh chopped rosemary and anchovies.  I use about 5 or 6 large cloves of garlic a spoonful of chopped fresh rosemary and about 5 fillets of salted anchovies that come in those lovely little jars. Most people are alright with garlic and rosemary but not too keen on the anchovies bit. However, I can assure you that after deep frying those three ingredients chopped up together in some very hot oil, the fishy taste of anchovies will has disappeared, especially when at the end of the frying, that should not take more than a few minutes, you add some English mustard. I sometimes just stop there and spoon this sauce. It is life affirming!

You have now reached the first base but most important part of the pasta sauce. After the frying I add  into this mix about 500gramms of pork and veal mince, cook this for about 15 minutes then add a tin of chopped Italian tomatoes and about two  carrot shredded finely. The carrots are important as it adds a bit of sweetness to the sauce. I sometimes sneaked in, when Helvi wasn’t watching, half a jarful of commercial bolognaise sauce. This is about all to make this pasta sauce. It needs reducing on low heat for about 2 hours but might need a little water at times.  Towards the end I add a handful of fresh oregano, grown in my garden. Depending on taste I might add some chili flakes or freshly ground pepper.

All it needs now is to boil good quality pasta and the adding of  shredded well aged parmesan chees on top of your dished out pasta and sauce. Be careful not to add salt as the anchovies are loaded with salt! 


Helvi with our three children in The Netherlands around 1974

I deliberately made this pasta sauce yesterday as the 29th of Oct 2019 is the day that Helvi passed away from breast cancer and it is in her memory.




I also add a photo of my late daughter Susanna, who sadly also passed away in October, but in 2012. Two years later in 2014 our son passed away in Koh Samui, Thailand, while organizing a holiday for both his mother and I. After that, Helvi and I carried on as strong as before, was there any other way? We still worked and enjoyed life to the best we could, and now on my own I do the same. Again, is there any other way? The best part are my lovely woman, friends, the garden, Bentley, cooking and lots more. Not always in that order but is is a nice lot when you think about it.

Enjoy this pasta sauce!


Susanna (1968-1912)

Leek and beef-mince pasta.

November 21, 2019


There can’t be any better way to get going to make something of the day then to prepare cook a meal for the evening. Today the weather forecast was for another catastrophic day with searing heat, bushfires reddening the smoky haze over cities and bushland. The news on TV gave the usual proof of catastrophe in pictures showing frantic couples looking over the still smoking ambers of what once was their home. The photographer  getting the moment right when the wife would break down, suppress a heartfelt sob. I know the feeling of a great loss.

I left our home early to go to the library, study the newspaper and look for possible ideas on volunteering. I did not see any but did read an article whereby our local community had been siphoned off millions of charity dollars on a scheme to house those with fatal terminal illnesses into hospices where they would be allowed to spend their final time on this earth with good care and respect. It turned out this will never happen. It is one thing to build the hospice after acquiring the land but another to actually run it. The government has made it clear more than ten years ago, they will not support this private hospice, and instead will extend present hospices at aged care facilities and public hospitals.

In the meantime hundreds of thousands of $$$ has been spent on fees, and paid out to architects, planners and those at the top of this charity who do get paid and are on full remunerations. We often donated stuff and also bought things from the Bowral hospice shops believing we were helping a good cause.

It is best to concentrate on cooking. I found some minced beef in the freezer and at the bottom of the fridge a somewhat forlorn and neglected leek. A bit on the limp side but still firm inside the stem and with some coaxing by olive oil and oregano could possibly get revived. I added some grated carrot,  chopped onions, garlic, and of course some Italian tinned tomatoes. After reading of the hospice dilemma I forego buying Australian tinned tomatoes. They are dearer, and the Italian tomatoes taste better. You try them. The whole lot is now simmering in a large saucepan with a lid on it. Low heat.

I now go to an airconditioned shopping centre and have a short black with two sugars. It is so hot. I look forward to my pasta tonight. By the way, the pasta too is Italian. Very thin and takes 8 minutes to cook.


Communion with a Frog.

November 22, 2016


Milo at peace with the world


The event of my friendship with a stingray following me in the water along a stretch of beach at Bendalong was perplexing enough, but yesterday we had a frog visiting us inside our home. How often would a frog end up inside our homes? It would have to be a deliberate choice; surely?

It happened during last evening’s TV hour of Rick Stein’s ‘Venice and Food.’ He seems to be joining several TV cooks combining culture and food, or at least linking food having its origins in making do with whatever was available at earlier less affluent times . Good food is the result of poverty more than wealth. Herbs were added to basic ingredients to make tasty and often nutritious food by peasants. Of course, at least in Venice, the peasants have disappeared or are rich. The real peasants have morphed into hordes of belching tourists.

Last night’s Rick Stein’s tour along Venice’s Grand canals were interspersed with sea-food risottos or pastas dished on mouth-watering steaming plates, all so colourful, with just the right amount of a verdant green sprinkle of parsley, with Venetian sienna accented intonations by a smiling waitress.

When everything was steaming along on TV, I noticed Milo, our much revered Jack-Russell Terrier, carrying something around in his mouth. As it was dark outside I did not think it would be a lizard. During daytime hours, one of the less social acceptable amusements is Milo chasing lizards and performing amputations of their tails. He is totally flabbergasted that there are now two wriggling beings instead of just the previous single one. We don’t encourage him.

I told Milo to drop his pray. He did instantly. On close inspection I thought it might be a young bird. It kept moving about. I lost sight of it in the semi-darkness of our lounge room. We usually spent evenings in subdued lighting. Milo though, all excited, wasn’t about to loose his pray and directed me to this missing little animal hopping about. It had now jumped into our bedroom. I looked and discovered it was a fairly large frog. I tried putting a dish-washer cloth over it. It jumped away before the cloth hit the floor. It had jumped into the bathroom. Perhaps it needed water?

I managed to find it again underneath a rack of towels. This time I covered the frog with a wet towel. I told Helvi about the frog, but she did not seem interested, and kept looking at Venice and listening to Rick Stein’s cooking commentary on the telly. I duly and with some magnanimity carried (proudly) the frog to the other side of the house and to the safety of a tangled Jasmin bush. During the last few years  this jasmin managed to scramble over the paling fence shared by our neighbour. It was also near an outside light which had a crowd of insects buzzing about. I hoped this frog would find a nice morsel as well. It should not just be the domain of Rick Stein. I then took it a small saucer of water.

After the show was over, I urged Helvi to take a look outside at the frog. It was still there and looked happy. As far as it is possible to detect happiness in a frog.

Good boy, Milo. Good boy, for not pulling the tail off a friendly frog.

The G 20 and a nice Pasta.

September 21, 2014


It is getting all too much. Nerve wrecking terrorism fears, and Putin coming to Brisbane. What will the neighbours think? Who would have thought a Russian President would ever visit Brisbane? I just can’t imagine him sitting around with all those other world leaders trying to act as nonchalant as possible. Their eyes scanning around while sauntering through those doors of the big-top with its clowns of leaders and performing big bears. They always seem to look so very ‘above it.’

I would not be surprised if they never go to toilets or wear underpants. It somehow seems that all domesticity has been overcome by them. Their digestive system has been conquered with all those weighty world responsibilities. Have you ever watched those G20 leaders making decisions so fastidiously resolute and unquestioning? They shuffle papers while wearing headphones, translators versed in foreign languages murmuring into grotesque pink ears just sitting behind them. The enormity of it all. Of course they don’t suffer from intestinal rumblings or dietary upsets. They have overcome their humaneness. It is all a circus with clowns and jugglers, masters of voodoo economics. Shifters of profits and taxation avoiding shysters.


As one gets older, those events just seem to repeat themselves into nothingness. A circular event that repeats itself ever year, every decade. So much remains the same yet so much is different. A callousness of spirit and calcified souls have grounded themselves into a permanent headstone of disregards and victim searching. It is, as always, the Viet-Cong, the Hutus, the Arabs, the Nazis, the Japanese, the Nigerians, the Boat people, those Terrorists. The clock (as always) just ticks in seconds. We have developed precise needle point methods of extermination. Laser guided and drone enhanced. We kill in real time TV with a blast enlarged in black smoke heading towards us on our comfy cushion softened settee.

And yet, what would we live for if not the enjoyment of a Sunday cooked pasta? I will never get enough of life if the pasta keep-on-coming. We all know that the fresh made is the best. The noodles cooked al dente and the sauce as always to include the hot blue smoke deep fried mixture of the chopped up garlic, rosemary and anchovies. Forget G20. A lovely well cooked meal makes it all still worthwhile.

Basta Pasta

May 20, 2014


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!