Well, it doesn’t look like much, but I had a go at one of Jamie Oliver’s recipes from quite a while ago (the Cook With Jamie tome): Jools’ favourite Saturday Afternoon Pasta (the recipe is available here, and basically involves tuna, fennel, cinnamon, lemon and chilli in a tomato based sauce).
This dish is not to be confused with “Jools’ Pregnant Pasta” which is a recipe from the 30 Minute Meals cookbook – Jools and I sound like we’d get on well, she sounds like a girl who really enjoys her pasta. Or at least gets a lot of pasta recipes dedicated to her.
The difference between this and the normal tomato based pasta sauce that I whip up on a regular basis is the little tweaks that Jamie gives the recipe to make it into something altogether more gourmet. I was making it because I had a fennel in the fridge that I wanted to use, and he suggested chopping some of the fennel fronds and putting them into the dish. I took that to mean “use your entire fennel”, so I guess I didn’t really follow the recipe all that exactly.
The cinnamon and lemon zest really amped up the pasta into something else, with almost a Greek touch to it, along with the aniseed taste of the fennel. I went through a short obsession with adding lemon zest to every pasta dish I made for a few weeks after devouring this little lot, until Mr B had to beg me to stop, he not being as much of the lemony-pasta persuasion as I apparently am.
Recommend – I’ve made again.