Sunday, 6 March 2011

Milk and celery with pasta

When I left home I was very interested in eating, and almost incapable of delivering a complete meal. Financial incompetence and inability to plan shored up the total rubbish approach that I can fairly call my putative independent culinary efforts, combine this with a firm belief that there is always a short cut to culinary excellence and you find me delivered to the manufacturers of tinned and dried ready made foodstuffs. Yes, I’m talking about soup.

It was the late 70s, and I’d been raised at the altar of Elizabeth David. Rustic French with a smattering of cordon bleu touches was home cooking to me. This lent packet food a strange and seldom resisted allure. In particular I liked fish balls and Findus Crispy Pancakes. From this came the inspiration for a strange, end of the week treat, celery and milk sauce with pasta.

Take one wilting head of celery, bought with the intention of good crunch eating even though I don’t like celery, and left to dehydrate, witnessing the comings and goings of foods I found more desirable.
Chop finely and fry over a low heat in oil or butter.
Add ½ pint of milk, pepper and salt.
Leave the milk to cook down, minding that it doesn’t boil over.
Cook the pasta of your choice.

The celery sauce is cooked when it’s a light golden brown, and the milk is thick.

This is not a healthy, or even that tasty, meal. It’s a filling platter for the hungry and indiscriminating eater. Students.

You can use fresh celery.

Of course there are recipes that use milk that produce similar results, with better ingredients. Pork braised in Milk - that's one.

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