Friday, September 28, 2012

Buttons and Bows

I may have mentioned this before... but I'm not a very effective preparer of "simple" dishes... the Great Alison Holst describes the following dish as a "well balanced family dinner which can be cooked in half an hour in one pan"... she neglects to add the bit "unless, of course, you are Kat. In which case this'll probably take an hour and a half several pans a couple of pots and maybe even a little floor-space for good measure. But don't worry! Your flat mates will love it!"

And, inexplicably, they do! This is not my favourite dish ever... but it comes to you highly requested by one of my most favourite people ever... and I aim to please! :)

Even I recognise that this is a very cute dish!
The flavour and sauciness for this dish comes almost entirely from a can of condensed soup - so make sure you pick a flavour you like from a brand you trust! I usually pick mushroom soup and then bulk up the flavour with some combination of; shit-loads of garlic, onion, Worcester sauce, soy sauce, chilli sauce, oregano, mushrooms etc... It's a stone soup type recipe!

The bows are provided by the pasta shape... and the buttons come, ideally from carrots and courgettes... but if, like me you don't have any courgettes to hand make buttons, bows and pearls! Substitute in any veggies you have lying around! Make this dish your own...

You can bulk out the greens with salad, as I did here - but with all the veggies in the dish proper salad isn't a necessary addition to make balanced-ness.

And so Joshee, I have for you (at long last!) the recipe for buttons and bow - enjoy!

Ingredients: (to feed 4-5 normal people... or 2-3 Growing Boys)

1 onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
500g mince (beef, lamb, chicken - suit yourself!)
oil to brown the above in...

3-4 carrots cut into approx. 5mm coins
200g bow (or other) shaped pasta
3 cups water or stock (the first time you make this - use water and then add stock if needed, you mightn't be as fussy as me!)

3-4 courgettes also cut into coins
Any other veg that takes your fancy...
450g can of condensed soup in your favourite flavour (mushroom, chicken, pumpkin, beef, tomato...?)

2-3Tbsp fresh, chopped herbs (parsley is good!)

Other possibilities:

grated cheese
oregano (fry this up with the onions/garlic at the beginning)
make it "Indian" throw in some ginger, ground tumeric, chilli and use a curry soup...

Be free! :)


Fry up the onions, garlic and mince in a little oil until the mince has browned.

Once brown and fragrant, chuck in the chopped up carrots - toss 'em round a bit then pour over the 3 cups of water/stock (salt now if necessary - NOT if using stock!). Bring to the boil then tip in the pasta and simmer, partially covered for 15 minutes.

After 15 mins - bung in the remaining ingredients (save herbies/cheese) and bring up to boil/everything is a delicious level of just-cooked... :) About 5-7 minutes more.

Serve in bowls with cheese/herbs/sweet chilli sauce...

Much love,


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