Discover more from ingredient by Rachel Phipps
A simple recipe for fried courgette pasta, the best way to cook aubergines, and how the consumption of pasta is automatically an antifascist act.
Welcome to Nibbles where once a month I share everything brilliant I’ve been reading on the web as well as some general updates from my kitchen, my vegetable garden during the growing season, and other miscellaneous ‘you really need to know about’ updates.
Regular readers will notice that Nibbles is arriving a little early this month: this is because later in the week I’m off to Mexico for a nice long break - yes a little bit of history and exploration is planned - but honestly in contrast to our usual culture-packed trips we both desperately need to sit by the pool / on the beach reading, drinking margaritas, eating tacos made with proper tortillas, and snacking on guacamole made with avocados that actually taste like avocado. Whatever I do post over the next couple of weeks, it will probably be on Instagram. I’ll see you all again mid-August!
If you’ve arrived here from elsewhere and you’re not yet a subscriber, you can sign up here so not to miss out on monthly ingredient essays (featuring a different ingredient every month), exclusive recipes, sneak peaks into some of my favourite food people’s kitchen cupboards, and the occasional long read!
A beautiful (both in the writing and in the visuals) record of cooking a feast for a community:
Also, Vidar schools us on the ceremony of visiting a a Turkish meyhane for dinner and drinks:
And he has some brilliant tips on how to best cook aubergines:
All about the joys of summer watermelons:
Hattie interviewed E.L. James and she’s right: those of us in the book space, be it as readers of books, readers of reviews, writers of reviews or in publishing need to take a long, hard look in the mirror:
Felicity’s mobile bakery journey in Ukraine continues with the trip through Bessarbia to pick it up, and with lots of brilliant hospitality and excellent food:
And, they do a test run seeing if their mobile bakery idea was going to work in such a small space:
The beautifully written story of an Italian-London sandwich cafe in Clerkenwell run by two brothers that has stood the test of time:
A recipe and story for bread pakora with the power to cross continents:
A brief history of the picnic:
The brilliant story behind Antifascist Pasta:
What I’ve been cooking: It’s been a busy one, and I’ve got two new recipes up for my Macknade food hall residency: a frankly delicious (if I may say so myself) Cherry Chocolate Eton Mess, and a refreshing Watermelon Limeade recipe that does not have any added sugar, is perfect for a hot day, and even better spiked with tequila.
And, over at Project Meal Plan if meal prep is more your thing, I’ve got a recipe for Freezer Friendly Fish Sticks (fish goujons for us Brits!) that cook from frozen in either the oven or the air fryer and come with a deliciously tangy recipe for yogurt tartare sauce, and a Indian-inspired Chicken Meal Prep with spices-and-yogurt marinated chicken pieces, spiced roasted veggies, fluffy quinoa and a cucumber raita sauce.
Also, over on my blog I’ve shared my go-to Healthy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing which is not only good for wedge salads and as a crudité dip but which also makes a killer tomato salad (pretty essential at this time of year), a versatile Marzipan Cake recipe which is one of my year-round go-to’s, but at the moment is the perfect make-ahead dessert for a crowd with slices grilled and served with macerated cherries and fresh mint, and a recipe I’ve been working on for a while for Chinese Pork Spare Ribs, inspired by the ones from the takeaway, but entirely cooked in the oven.
What I’ve been growing: All of the lettuce I pictured last month is gone (and supplemented by lettuces from my parents garden, simply dressed with white balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil good it was too) and apart from that all I’ve really enjoyed was a handful of rainbow radishes (it has been a terrible year for them) and the above courgettes I mixed with some of my parents yellow before stirring through pasta. This is my favourite solo dinner at the moment:
For one person (easily scaled) warm a very generous glug of extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan over a medium high heat. Add two small sliced courgettes, salt, and a bashed garlic clove (careful doing this, I snapped a knife in half doing this last week!) Cook whilst you cook 100g pasta in salted water. Add chilli flakes to the courgette. Scoop the pasta so it’s still coated in water into the courgette; it should fall apart once the courgette hits it. Stir in a very generous amount of grated parmesan and more pasta cooking water if needed to make a silky sauce. Add more salt if needed to taste and stir in a generous handful of chopped basil.
Otherwise, I’m hoping our house-sitters will get to enjoy my first outdoor tomatoes which will turn whilst we’re away, and I’ll be off to harvest the sugar snap peas for some kind of lunchtime fridge-clearing situation later on. I’m sure they’ll also both enjoy the courgettes and there will still be more for me when we return (J doesn’t like them so I grow them just for my own enjoyment!) and I’m hoping then the flowers on both the borlotti beans and French beans will have started to translate into something for dinner. However, I am also watching on in concern that my parents might get to enjoy all of my corn on the cob rather than us; they’re looking very healthy this morning, and as there are so many insects about in my damp, near a nature reserve garden you usually can’t leave them on the plant too long or else they’ll get them instead!