Last night I left school with a dark cloud hanging over my head. At some point during the previous six weeks a large number of my lovely, fluffy pupils had been fed after midnight and had mutated into hissing, fidgeting, sneering gremlins with wild, wild looks in their eyes. It was a hellish day. A day which had me driving back down the A9 wondering if I was in the right job.
Released some tension on arriving home by ripping out the forest of sweetpeas which had taken over my garden and furiously forking the soil over in preparation for my winter planting. It was a cathartic experience but I still wasn’t relishing the thought of going back to school the next day. I had to sit down and think very carefully about how to deal with the boy who wouldn’t stop singing, the “am I bovvered” girl, the writing refuser and the multitude of monkeys that are my new first year class.
A couple of hours later, still muddied and grass-stained from my earlier gardening, I was satisfied with my plan of action and ready for a treat. A hot shower, a cheesy crime novel and my favourite pasta meal.
This dish was adapted from a Nigel Slater article. Lost the original recipe sometime last year but I make it so often I really don’t need it anymore.
Broccoli, Anchovy and Herb Pasta
2 tblspn olive oil
3 anchovy fillets
1/2 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1 tsp chopped parsley
6-8 black olives, chopped
Big handful of sprouting brocolli (or normal brocolli if the sprouting isn’t available)
75g wholewheat spaghetti
- In a heavy based frying pan, melt the anchovy fillets gently.
- Once the anchovies have melted into the oil add the onion, garlic, rosemary, parsley, and olives and fry gently until onion is softened and the flavours have combined.
- Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in plenty of salted water. Add the brocolli to the pan 5 minutes before the spaghetti is cooked. Save a little of the cooking water.
- Drain the spaghetti and broccoli and add to the onion mixture. Loosen with a little cooking water.
- Season very carefully (remember the anchovies and parmesan are salty) and serve with parmesan shavings.
So did any of my carefully planned strategies work? They might have if I’d had any reason to use them. Today the gremlins had vanished and instead I was faced with classes of coo-ing gizmos. Well, perhaps that is a slight exaggeration but I did have a great day. Love this job.
P.S. This is my entry for the Food in Film event. Tenuous in the extreme!!!