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Showing posts from September, 2013

What to do with a leek.

Leeks are the world's most under-rated vegetable, except by those in the know, and the Welsh. They can even play a starring role in pasta dishes. While many people think of pasta sauces as either tomato- or cream-based, or rough equivalents, this recipe contains neither, but is as unctuous as the cream versions, and packs as much flavour as the acid-edged tomato ones. Rigatoni with leek, mushroom and gorgonzola. Slice one large leek finely into very thin rings. Rinse to eliminate grit. Slice half a red capsicum into fine dice. Slice six button mushrooms. Place leek, capsicum and mushrooms into a pan and cook slowly with olive oil and a little butter until the leek has 'melted' but not caramelised. The capsicum and mushrooms will look after themselves, the latter shedding a little fluid to keep the whole thing moist. Meanwhile, cook your pasta. For this, I used rigatoni. Drain pasta and fold through the leek 'sauce'. Top with chopped parsley. Perfect as i

The oval.

And then, by chance, I was back in the college shown in the previous post, one cold sunny morning in early September. The recently deceased spouse of an older relative had specified that his wake be held on sacred ground. And so, there we were – three cousins, amongst a large crowd of friends and relations – gazing through the panoramic window of the new sports pavilion overlooking the main football oval. At the bottom of a steep hill, a natural valley carved out by Steele’s Creek, the oval is hemmed in by dramatic terracing that rises away at just the right angle to make it a perfect, natural amphitheatre. It’s the only original part of the entire complex. Human architects could not improve it. We watched as a tractor made manoeuvres in the middle of the ground. I think it was preparing the wicket for the cricket season. Beyond the oval, way up on the hill, a Ryan’s bus roared up the Buckley Street ascent towards Essendon Station, just like they did forty years ago when we stared, bor