I have mentioned that eating well is my main motivation for making my lunch, but this entry extends that convention into the realms of masochism. Yes, it’s another contest entry, but this time I am not solely responsible for this madness. I have much to thank with the making of these lunches and this post would hopefully make clear why this was all some form of insanity.
The contest theme: ‘pasta’ – they were quite clear that this was of the Italian variety and visibly recognisable as pasta. I had intended to make a cold pasta dish in a similar vein as Yvan’s smoked salmon pasta salad, as I’d rather not microwave things unless it’s plain rice. With a plan for a cream cheese-and-chives combination I wanted an attractive complex-shaped (and/or coloured) pasta for more visual appeal. And at this point I recognised that certain glint in his eyes; something that I’ve translated to “I have a cunning plan” or “challenge accepted” with my imagining a smug look. He suggested that he would make the pasta. From scratch. Coloured with natural ingredients. Cue the “Mission: Impossible” theme..
Yvan is no newbie to pasta making and he certainly has made spinach fettuccine in the past, but he had ambitious plans: spinach, red capsicum (red pepper to you poms) and beetroot. After cooking the ‘dye’ ingredients (the spinach was steamed and towel dried, the beetroot boiled with a sprig of rosemary and the capsicum roasted on the BBQ) the appropriate amounts were weighted out for each portion of pasta before being blended into pastes. Each coloured paste was mixed into the wet ingredients and apart from ensuring the correct ratio of ‘colouring’ to flour, preparation followed typical home made egg pasta (we had to look up the crimping technique). In the end about 800g of dried pasta was made into farfalle and fettuccine – the bow ties were quite fiddly even for the both of us to make and we were quickly using up our Sunday (a ‘school night’).
Farfalle actually comes from the word ‘butterflies’ and I thought that flowers would naturally complement them. Despite the annoyance of living in a rental with an established garden it’s a welcome sight to find edible plants: in this case a charming selection of primroses.
In the end I made 2 lunches with the intention to pick the best to submit to the contest:
lunch.log entry 20130415 contents:
Top tier: apple, boiled egg, BBQ haloumi, apple and leek nori ‘sausage rolls’, cheater-sauerkraut
Bottom tier: cream cheese and chive farfalle (bow-tie pasta) garnished with primrose
lunch.log entry 20130417 contents:
Top tier: Broad beans and capers skewer, cheater-sauerkraut, boiled egg, steamed carrot, apple, harissa roast chicken
Bottom tier: cream cheese and chive fusilli (spirals, though they really might be rotini) and farfalle
Garnish: primrose flower and leaf, parsley
With the scheduling of a full-time job, and a late arriving spring this year the photos left much to be desired (poor lighting, not using a better camera). When waking up early for final touchups, taking photos at 7:00am to be out the door by 7:30am, having little hope of competing with more well-equipped (interweb-famous bloggers) entrants and likely on social media sites I despise it all sounds a little deranged for just preparing a tasty packed lunch..