Indian-Italian comfort food

Gareth was away on work for three weeks, and before leaving he very sweetly cooked up some batches of food and froze portions for me. Some days I did cook from scratch, and on one of those days I put together this ‘fusion’ meal. One of the often used phrases in this blog is “so I winged it”, which applies to my cooking as well. Unless actually following a recipe, my style is of the “bit of this and a bit of that” school of cooking. I can do ‘normal’ stuff like pasta sauce, fajitas, fried rice, lasagne, but I also believe in just putting together things I like…which usually works out well.

So, on this fine evening, I had been admiring this recipe for mushroom orzotto, but lacking cream and having a hankering for something a little spicier, an idea grew and began evolving. I got a pan of hot oil on the go, into which went some mustard seeds, cumin, and one clove. This was followed by chopped garlic, roughly chopped mushrooms, halved plum tomatoes, roughly chopped coriander, and seasoning. If I’d had fresh chillies some would have gone in, but good old dried chilli flakes did just as well.

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Meanwhile, I had a little pot of orzo pasta bubbling away, and when it was almost ready I threw in frozen peas and let it come to boil again.
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Back to the main pan, and I added a generous amount of parmesan (shaved in ‘cheffy’ style with a vegetable peeler), because I thought the dish could do with that creaminess, because I had parmesan in the kitchen, and because I love parmesan, amongst other cheeses…
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Stir so the parmesan melts in, drain the pasta and peas and mix it all together, and there you have it: a variety of inter-continental comfort food put together.
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And if you thought this combination couldn’t get any better / madder…what did I have in the oven?

Dinosaur nuggets!
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Aaaahhh….I really enjoyed this. There’s the earthiness of the mushroom and spices, the freshness of the tomato and coriander, the silky creaminess of the parmesan, and the lovely rice-but-not-rice orzo. And what’s not to love about dinosaur nuggets?

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