Hot day, blazing chillies, cold pasta…

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Eating outside on a hot, still day, in the shade of the house is a pleasure that I keenly anticipate throughout the winter months. Most enjoyable of these moments are the impulsive, unpremeditated occasions when it just seems like the right moment. The preparation for the pre-arranged dinner al fresco is fraught with doubt and anxiety, whereas walking out of the door, into the buzzing silence of a summer’s afternoon, with a freshly prepared plate of something simply delicious in your hand is a confirmation that all is right within the small world that is today’s happiness.

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Making the right amount of pasta is one of the great oxymorons. There is no right amount only a wrong amount. It’s always too little or too much. If some pasta is left over it will be because you made too much and if none is left over it will be because you made too little, not because you made the right amount. So, it appears that I made too much last night. A friend of mine, an Italian, gave me some good advice many years ago about left over pasta and the advice was to eat it cold as a salad.

Last night I had made a larder pasta sauce based on a small amount of good tomato sauce which needed using. A red pepper was close to giving in to the weather and had be sliced and very slowly cooked in a pan with olive oil. I didn’t skin it, but cooked the thick slivers until the skin side had burnt edges and the flesh had melted. In another pan, translucent discs of thinly sliced garlic together with a chopped bird’s eye chilli were infusing the warm olive oil that surrounded them. The peppers and tomato sauce were added to the garlic and chillies, along with the oil from the red pepper pan. The mixture sat over a low heat until the pasta was cooked, drained and stirred into it. A dish of fresh breadcrumbs from a cereal loaf were sprinkled over and stirred into the deliciously entwined pasta threads.It was a bowlful of this chillied delight that caught my eye as I opened the fridge. I moistened it with some more olive oil, left the kitchen and within a few moments I was seated at a shady table on my favourite terrace.

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About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2014, Art photography, Cooking, Digital photography, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, Italian food, Olive oil, pasta, peppers, Photography, photography course, tomatoes, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Weather, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Hot day, blazing chillies, cold pasta…

  1. The one thing I truly miss about our old house is our porch that overlooked the garden. We ate out there almost every night. We can go up on the roof where we are now, but it isn’t the same.

  2. cecilia says:

    Simply perfect.. I am going to remember your old friends advice too. Thank you Roger.. c

    On Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 9:56 AM, Food, Photography & France wrote:

    > Food,Photography & France posted: ” Eating outside on a hot, still > day, in the shade of the house is a pleasure that I keenly anticipate > throughout the winter months. Most enjoyable of these moments are the > impulsive, unpremeditated occasions when it just seems like the > right moment. Th”

  3. You warmed my heart on a cold hot day. Thank you ;D

  4. Mad Dog says:

    Eat up – it’ll rain soon 😉

  5. catterel says:

    I’m glad I read this after I had eaten …

  6. Two wonderful meals in row…sounds like a plan 🙂

  7. My kind of pasta right there. Simple and damn well delicious!! Nice work.

  8. Eha says:

    That travelled most ‘moreish’ right across the world . . . yes, have been known to do the same 🙂 ! Actually I take my midday meal out to under my huge weeping rose even during winter months. It’s about 16 C at the moment and I have just demolished a plate of delightful chicken stirfry in the midday sun . . . also bliss . . .

  9. EllaDee says:

    If you were to dine al fresco at a nice cafe or restaurant and select the same from the menu the cost would be significantly higher, and everyone loves a free lunch 🙂

  10. Jen says:

    You are such a good food writer. I’m drooling. Over leftovers, no less.

  11. Very nice pasta, Roger.

  12. Gorgeous. Can’t go wrong with good ingredients. Especially spicy ones.

  13. There’s no such thing as too much pasta 😉

  14. Michelle says:

    Perfect, Roger. I never worry about too much pasta. The chickens love it!

  15. Karen says:

    Getting the right amount of pasta is always a quandary…I always aim for a little too much. Your pasta salad sounds like an enjoyable meal.

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