OK, yes, its been a while, my apologies, I had this thing called work and then I was traveling for near 50 days. So yeah.
Anyhow, to make up for all of that, I’m giving you this brilliant dish 🙂
- 1 large white onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon of mustard powder
- 1/2 stick of unsalted butter
- 3 table spoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (capitalized out of respect)
- 1 teaspoon of crushed, dry mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 2 bay leaves (dried are OK)
- 125 ml of thick cream
- 1 bag of spaghetti
- 1/4 cup of milk
- 1 tablespoon of salt and later salt & pepper to taste
- a bag of powdered mushroom soup (the faux part)
- 3/4 pint of water
(again, I have a knack of forgetting to picture everything, so just use the picture as a guideline)
I find the easiest way to start in preparing this dish is to chop the onion first. Do so. Trust me, you’ll thank me later. Chop them in a rough manner, but not so rough that you’d skewer them. The picture should be a decent guide.
Now we need to “sweat” the onions. Not such nice nomenclature, but hey, that’s the proper technical term for it. Basically, we need to get rid of some of the water in the onion. So, out we get the pot, something with space in it, throw in the butter (I chop it into smaller cubes to make it melt faster :)) and then when the butter is half melted I pour in the olive oil. You don’t want the pot to be on too hot a flame because 1. you’ll burn the butter and that will give you a bitter nutty taste and 2. you’ll burn the olive oil and lose all its goodness and taste. You’ve been warned. You’ll want to sprinkle about 1/2 tablespoon’s worth over the onions to draw out the moisture. Beware of splashes, this is oil (and butter) we’re talking about.
Whilst the onion is on the hob, you should now put the spaghetti on the boil; don’t forget to add a generous pinch of salt to the water (after it starts to bubble) and a dash of olive oil.
Now with two pots on the stove, you get to bash the garlic like its the kid that bullied you in elementary school. I personally have mad love for garlic but proper distaste for biting into a piece of garlic, so I take it to the mortar, pour some salt (for the abrasion and it brings out the taste) and then pound it into a paste.
Now, its time for the sauce. Pot on the stove (yes, a 3rd one, a deep pan will do if you don’t have yet another pot in your arsenal), still empty, medium heat, pour the water and then quick as you can, tip the contents of the powdered soup as you whisk. You do not want clumps, so whisk away my friend. Once the soup powder is dissolved, add the mustard powder, the lemon juice, the dried and crushed mint. Whisk again until well incorporated. Now you have to watch it carefully. This mix will burn easily and because there’s NOT ENOUGH water, it will not bubble; it’ll heave. So keep an eye out but keep whisking. Once the mixture is warm enough, add the cream and the milk and whisk again. It will reduce a bit and when it reaches a thick-ish consistency, where its thick to the eye and when dropped off from the spoon it falls off in blobs, then you turn off the heat.
Pour the sauce into the pan and whisk again. You want to make sure that it all mixes in. If you find that the sauce is thickening up before the pasta is ready you can add a dollop or more of milk, so long as you whisk again (you’re really hating this word by now, aren’t you?)
Pasta done? Great! Drain the pasta of all the fluid and then pour it into the sauce (that’s why we poured the sauce into the pot with the onions). Tongs would be great here to give the whole thing a stir, but a wooden spoon would be just as good.
You’re ready now.
Sahtein and Salam!
Let’s assume that you had some left over, just for argument’s sake. And let’s assume that you had the will power to stop yourself from eating what’s left straight ought of the fridge and you’d much rather have it nice and warm and full of glory, then I would suggest you add a dollop of milk (skimmed is fine) and mix before warming it up in stages (pot or microwave). At the end of every stage (about 30 seconds in the microwave at high), take it out, give it a mix, if necessary add some more milk and warm up again. After an aggregate of about 2 minutes (according to my math on my microwave) its ready and fit for consumption again.