On the menu – a bit of a disaster and marmite pasta


I decided to do a bit more cooking from The Savvy Cook and have a go at making ‘Pesto Crumb Courgettes with Weeknight Focaccia’. I liked pesto, I liked courgettes, and I definitely liked the idea of a quick, meal sized portion of focaccia, except it didn’t really work. The focaccia dough was very wet, so I couldn’t do the characteristic thumbprint dimples, but I thought, well, it’s still bread, it will be nice, so it still went in the oven. While the focaccia was cooking, I made a start on the courgettes; the instructions said to lay your box grater on its side, big holes facing up and then to run the courgette along it, so that you got long ribbons of courgette. Hmm, no, I was still getting grated courgette, at this point I regretted not getting my spiralizer out, which would have given me ribbons but the kitchen was already a mess from making the focaccia, and I didn’t want/have time to get another piece of equipment out. So, sticking with my box grater, which had a mandoline slicer, I risked my fingers and cut the courgettes into wider ribbons that way. The rest of the pesto crumb courgette side of the dish went okay, the pesto, using sunflower seeds, was rather nice but when all mixed together with my disintegrating courgette ribbons, it didn’t look that nice. Fortunately, though, it did taste quite nice, which is more than could have been said for the focaccia. Despite oiling my tin generously, the focaccia stuck to it badly, I did chisel a bit off to give it a try but the resulting bread really wasn’t focaccia and it didn’t really taste that nice. The recipe for the focaccia had specified part wholemeal / part white flour and, well, I’m all for wholemeal in most bread (I actively prefer it), but in focaccia, nope, it just didn’t taste right. And without those dimples, something was missing too.

I hate it when recipes go wrong, luckily for me; they don’t go wrong so badly, that all or part of it ends up in the bin, that often but it’s such a waste when it does happen. My kids are home for the holidays at the moment, and it’s always the holidays when I fully realise exactly how much I appreciate them having school dinners, as cooking for them is much more of a challenge in the holidays. I had known that Z wouldn’t have liked the pesto courgettes, but he had been looking forward to the bread. Both me and S ate the courgettes and we did both like them, but it was such a hassle, that no way am I making this again (although I’ve mentally added sunflower seeds into my list of possible pesto ingredients, so that was a positive).


I spend way too long on Twitter but sometimes you find gems, which is why I keep going back. One such gem was found Thursday morning.

A recipe for Marmite and Pancetta pasta, I had to make it for lunch! S was a little dubious, Z wasn’t going to have it anyway (the only pasta he eats is school dinner pasta, I am perennially insulted) and I was definitely up for, having tried a Nigella Marmite pasta recipe a long time ago. Anyway, the result was utterly gorgeous, it isn’t actually that marmite-y, it’s just more intensely, intensely savoury, S loved it too, I can imagine her making this as a student, in the meanwhile I will definitely be making this again.

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