Slappa al pomodoro

16 Dec

I hate food blogs. I read them all the time, but I hate them. At best, they can be instructively annoying, at worst, simply revolting. They have a use, mind: the average level of condescension in a food blog post means that having read one, I take real enthusiasm in hacking vegetables to shit.

Still, I am a twat of little imagination, which doesn’t do this blog many favours. This week I’ve drawn a real blank thinking of anything interesting to write about.

I woke up this morning feeling like the British economy- depressed and in decline. I went back to sleep and consequently missed my last class of the year and subsequently achieved absolutely nothing. I sat around for a bit and then put a load of washing on. When that was done, I hung it up, and thought about how best to use the hours of daylight left to me.

This took a long time, during which I swept the floor, read about Christopher Hitchens’ death and worried about the implications of the (so far hilarious) trans-Manche slagging match. I have, in the loosest sense of the term, met both Fillon and Baroin, so  the whole disastrous saga is for me a bit like watching the street next to mine getting hit by bubonic plague. Hilarious.

I went into school, and on the way saw a cyclist being crushed by a bus at the Knightsbridge/Sloane Street junction. By the time I got to UCL, it was 5PM, and I’d completely forgotten why I walked up there in the first place.

I got home, watched a laconic Aussie called Ash win Professional Masterchef and decided to write about the cheapest way I know of cooking something nice.

I don’t like eating pre-packaged food, and since nobody ever invites me to dinner, this means I have to think for myself. I don’t eat meat (although I am not a vegetarian) and I think of pasta as a last resort- I associate it with hangovers and impromptu student parties, neither of which is particularly appetising. Natural greed combined with the fact that my weekly budget is largely devoured by my appetite for gin & fags means that I’m constantly seeking out new forms of pound-shop luxury.

This is my favourite. It’s a Tuscan soup that requires only five basic ingredients;

1)   tinned tomatoes

2)   bread- any bread

3)   garlic

4)   Olive Oil

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil and tip a chopped up slice of bread into it. The oil will dry up quickly, so turn the heat down before it starts to stick to the pan. When the bread is slightly crispy, add a couple of cloves of crushed garlic (I add a chilli to mine, hence the slappa), then add a can of tomatoes and leave to cook with a lid mostly covering the pan for 15 minutes.

Add water, salt and pepper according to the consistency you want, and leave for a further 10 minutes. After this, add some parmesan if you have some, and season to taste.

It’s the only way I know of making myself deliciously and contentedly full for 12 hours without feeling slightly ill. Best of all, it costs about 25p a serving. I like to add roasted tomatoes, rosemary and anchovies to mine.

If you want, put these in the oven with some oil at Gas Mark 6 for 30 minutes before you start frying the bread, and take them out and add after you put the water into the soup. To be honest, it doesn’t make all that much difference, but I like to gild a lily every now and then.

Best eaten to the sounds of Françoise Hardy’s timeless Occupé. Yum.


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