I plant my flag. I sit by the warm fire. I see the road traveled so far,fruitful, full of joy and with lovely characters along the way.

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pasta with sweet tomatoes, aubergine and mozzarella - Jamie Oliver

Today I am going to try one of Jamie Oliver's recipes. I love his shows on television and I do think he is the most gorgeous chef on earth. Also he is lucky with his accent, it is lovely. Although it is described as mockney or fake, it has become famous over the years. Particularly the use of the Hindi word 'pukka' (meaning brilliant or solid) refers to him.

Some of the newsflashes in which he was the center of attention:

In 2003, Oliver was ranked number 28 in Channel 4's poll of '100 Worst Britons'. The poll was inspired by the BBC series '100 Greatest Britons'. The poll specified that the nominees had to be British, alive, and not currently in prison.

In 2005, Oliver was widely criticized by animal rights groups for slaughtering a fully conscious lamb on his TV show (my God!). Some critics believed his act would scare meat eaters into becoming vegetarians, which they stated as good television. I would never become a vegetarian to be honest but I am happy to not have seen this video..

Also in 2005, Jamie Oliver embarked upon his school dinners campaign to improve the quality of food fed to pupils. While the campaign was arguably successful, at the time it was a highly controversial shake-up for students and parents, some of whom believed that the students should have a healthy option available, but still be given the choice as to what they want to eat. (agreeable I guess)

In September 2006, Rawmarsh Community School, South Yorkshire, UK, made headlines after a handful of parents revolted against Oliver's lunch plan (in which all 1,100 pupils on site were fed two portions of fruit and three vegetables every day) by delivering junk food from local shops to the pupils through the school fence. (who are these people for Heaven's sake? So much for setting an example!!) One parent dismissed Oliver's food as 'disgusting rubbish' and declared: 'Food is cheaper and better at the local takeaways.'

Well guys, believe me he knows how to make a good healthy vegetarian dish :)

For this Pasta with sweet tomatoes, aubergine and mozzarella dish you would need:
  • 350 gr pasta (whichever you like)  
  • 1 large firm aubergine
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 x 400g tins good-quality plum tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons thick cream
  • a large handful of fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped oregano
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 x 200g ball of buffalo mozzarella
  • 4 large handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Slice up the aubergine into 1cm thick cubes and heat a griddle pan. Meanwhile, put 4 tablespoons of olive oil into the pan on a medium heat. Add the aubergine for seven minutes on medium heat. After that add the onion, garlic and dried oregano and cook for a few minutes, until the onion is soft and the garlic has a tiny bit of color. Then add the tinned tomatoes and the balsamic vinegar. When the tomato sauce is reduced, season it carefully with salt and pepper. Cook on slow heat for 15 minutes, then add the cream. Cook the pasta. Add the pasta to the sauce mixture together with the torn-up mozzarella and basil. Serve immediately.

 Thanks for sharing this recipe Jamie, you are amazing!

Warm regards,

Abigail Summer

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