A new month and a new set of magazines to agonise over. May is going to be rather Italian themed as since 2003 May has been the annual Italian issue and even in the 2002 there were a number of Italian recipes so I decided to just go for it. Although there is a rather non-Italian dessert shortly.
I had a craving for macaroni and cheese a few weeks ago. While looking through issue # 5 I noticed that there was Ian Parmenter's Three Cheese Macaroni and I thought that might hit the spot. I had a number of different cheeses in the fridge and thought that I could cobble some of those together to make this. In the end though I wasn't sure what I wanted to serve with it so I decided to make something different.
Valli Little's Eggplant Parmigiana looked so wonderful and would use the bocconcini that I had in the fridge. I really like parmigiana especially a vegetarian version and this one, with the inclusion of capsicum sounded like it would be really good. There were two reasons that I didn't make this, the first was that the only nice looking eggplants were finger eggplants and I didn't think that they would work very well in it. The other reason was that I was looking for something quick to make one evening for dinner and this certainly isn't a quick dish to make.
I decided to make Valli Little's Orecchiette with Creamy Broccoli. Not only was it a quick recipe to make it also included a serve of green vegetables. I left out the anchovies in the recipe, I am not a fan of them unless they are in a long, slow cooked dish where they add richness and depth but without the fishy taste. I just used a couple of shakes of some flaked chillis (hot) and it was just a tad too much but nothing too bad. The cream in the recipe cut through the heat fairly well. I think that this could also be made with light evaporated milk to cut back on the fat a bit as well. I didn't have any orecchiette so I just used some pasta curls. I think that the orecchiette would have worked better as it would have held more of the sauce the the little cup shaped pasta but I am making myself use up some of my stores before I purchase anything more.
I made quite a few changes to the method of the recipe too. I added the broccoli to the cooking pasta in the last couple of minutes of cooking. After I drained that, I used the same pot to fry off the garlic and chilli, I also added some very finely sliced green onions then added some cream and heated, I added the pasta and broccoli and stirred to combine and stirred through some of the grated parmesan. Served and topped with the remaining grated parmesan. I think it was easier than following the recipe would have been.