Creamy Pasta with Leeks

I kid you not, if there’s anything that can console us in these apocalyptic times it’s carbs. I don’t know what it is about them that just soothe the mind and improve our outlooks on life, I just know that they work and it’s universal. And for the past six months, it’s been pizza, bread, pasta and rice that have helped me digest all the news on the pandemic, deaths, unemployment, climate change, Xinjiang, Trump, RBG, BLM… *panic* *sweats* *gulp* hold on, let me just snack on some sourdough I made this morning.

So it’s been tough! But here’s a dish to bring you solace: creamy leeks and cheese coat and hug the pasta with the companies of anchovies to add some depth and lemon zest to freshen things up. Don’t do anchovies? Remove and maybe replace with some pancetta, or keep it veggie and add a bit of miso. Thyme would also fit well in this party. If you’ve got time, fry off some bread crumbs and add a bit more texture. Doesn’t this idea make you calmer already? Shhh, just forget what’s happening in the outside world now and focus on this delightful pasta.

Serves 2
Ingredients
200g pasta
1 large leek, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 anchovy fillets, minced
60-100g parmesan
Dash of cream

Method
Start by frying the garlic and anchovies in a pan with oil for a few minutes over medium heat until fragrant and sticky.

Add the leeks and sweat over medium heat – don’t turn up the heat or else you’ll get them caramelized. Cook until softened, anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes.

In the mean time bring a pot of water to the boil, add a good pinch of salt, and then add the pasta. Cook until very al dente as you’ll cook it with the sauce as well.

Add the pasta to the pan and a bit of the pasta water as well. Toss and cook and add a bit more pasta water if it seems too dry. Follow this process for a few minutes until the pasta is at the consistency you’d like.

Finish off by stirring in the dash of cream together with the parmesan and the lemon zest.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

Chocolate was the ultimate comfort food for me as a child. I would fall, scrape my knees, bleed, and chocolate can just switch off those tear ducts in an instance. Looking back, no physical or emotional pain couldn’t be soothed by chocolate.

Unfortunately, because life’s a b*tch, chocolate’s potency has weakened with time. These days the coronavirus gets me down, I eat chocolate, cry even more as now not only am I sad, but I’m going to be fat and sad.
chocolate hazelnut
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Apple Almond Cake

Ok. Let’s keep this content corona-free. I probably spend more time reading about the corona virus than working these days, so this post will just be about the apple cake. Let’s just stop thinking about corona for five minutes and instead find comfort in the baking of an apple cake. A fantastic apple cake that’s more apple than cake, so really, it’s ok to eat now that all gyms are closed and you’re doing nothing but baking and eating because you can’t go out and do anything and baking and eating are the only things that can distract you from reading more about the corona virus. almond apple torte Continue reading “Apple Almond Cake”

Gravlax with Fennel Remoulade

I have now been in Norway for nine days. It’s part of my whole new year new me thing. I decided to do new country, new job just so I could excuse myself from setting proper new year resolutions. With this new life comes: new language, new flat, new furniture, new friends, new gym, new bakeries and cafes. It’s cool, I’m not overwhelmed. My body isn’t reacting negatively with breakouts on my face and eczema flare-ups and stomach bloating. It’s cool. I’m fine.
gravalax fennel.jpg
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A killer focaccia

What is your favorite carb?

We had a heated discussion about this at work. First, you need to categorize this properly: we are not talking about good carbs and bad carbs. We are in a safe space where all carbs are good as long as they make you happy.

We are separating carbs into grains (rice, bulgur etc), noodles (inc. pasta), bread (inc. pizza). For the purposes of this exercise we will remove sweets and dishes where the carb has a supporting role, like quiches (thereby removing pastry as a category), and the likes of dumplings.  These three categories are understandably very broad. For grains, we will only consider them in their whole form, for if we start thinking about rice flour dishes, then they blur into the other categories.
focaccia.jpg
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Parmigiana Wreath

I’m a little bit tired.

I have a day job that pays the bills, and a side granola business that’s quite literally the opposite. I’m also trying to maintain this blog. Maintain various relationships. Maintain my physique and work out and feed myself.

Today I really felt this longing for baths. I fantasized the luxury of taking 45 minutes to cleanse myself. I also miss books. I’ve shamefully got three unopened and two half-finished books waiting for me across my apartment – on my bedside table, dining table, coffee table – all to punish myself with guilt wherever I go.  See, it’s not that I’m not reading anything, it’s that on top of everything, I also subscribe to three news publications, and I have to get my money’s worth and read them every day. That means it takes me my entire 40 minute commute to my day job to read all three morning briefings.
parmigiana wreath.jpg
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Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Tahini Dressing

I had a terrible realization yesterday: I hadn’t written anything beyond emails and text messages and comments on Instagram for two months. I’ve been in between jobs and I’ve neglected this blog. I was about to dedicate this post to filling you in on what’s happened in my life since I last posted in May, but I realized that f*ck all’s happened. I quit my job, I’m doing the cliched Millennial thing of “finding myself”, which for yesterday meant that I spent the afternoon in bed reading a depressing novel set in Japan in the second world war, getting up every 45 minutes to give my baby bread dough a knead. The sourdough turned out quite well, by the way.
sweet potatoes tahini dressing
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Orange Blossom Oat Cookies

Orange blossom is the only floral flavor I can tolerate in food and drink. Maybe I’ve had one too many bad experiences with cheap Turkish delights, but anything rose-flavored is just like shoving a soap bar into my mouth. And lavender brings me back to my mother’s closet, which I’m not sure is what I want to recollect when I consume a food product. But I always keep a bottle of orange blossom in my cupboard for adding a special touch to otherwise mundane baked goods, like oat cookies.
oat orange cookies
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Pear and Citrus Cake

My fondest memories of my mother involve her feeding me, which I guess is normal. I can still visualize my mother cutting pears into segments over a bowl, endearingly slurping them, and passing the bowl to her children. Those were Nashi pears – they’re the crisp, fresh Asian pears that are more akin to apples. I always preferred the buttery, rich william and conference pears as a child, which were a rare and extortionate treat in China back in the days.
pear citrus cake
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