Tagliatelle Alfredo

What you will need.

  • 10g Butter, cubed
  • 10ml Cake Flour
  • 1L Cream
  • 40ml Full-cream Milk
  • 1ml Ground Nutmeg
  • 2ml Freshly-cracked Black pepper
  • 4-5ml Salt (to taste)
  • 10g Caramel Sugar
  • 18ml Worcestershire Sauce
  • 250g Button Mushrooms, cleaned & sliced
  • 200g Hickory Ham (or other smoked ham of your choice) sliced
  • 4-6 Portions Cooked Fresh Pasta
  • 50g Grated Parmesan (for serving)

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Combine the milk & cream. Melt the butter in a medium-sized sauce pan, add the flour and whisk, vigorously for 1-2min until the flour resembles the texture of wet sea sand (a bit bubbly & loose).  Gradually add all the milk & cream, whisking continuously to ensure there are no lumps in the sauce- if you do have some small lumps don’t fret as they will start disappearing as the sauce thickens. Bring the sauce to boil over a low-medium heat. Continue whisking lightly throughout. Once the sauce is boiling, add the nutmeg, salt, pepper, sugar & Worcestershire sauce and whisk again until well combined. Allow the sauce to boil again before turning off the heat. Fry the mushrooms & ham in a generous amount of butter & season with salt, pepper & a dash of lemon juice & Worcestershire sauce. To serve, spoon a helping of pasta into each bowl, top with a lavish ladle-full of the creamy Alfredo sauce and finally top with the fried mushrooms, ham and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Enjoy

You ARE What You Eat!

strange foods 2Eat, drink, and be merry, for that makes life worth living.” Well yes, that’s how the saying goes and who can argue this truth when everybody and his uncle have something to say about food? I have heard a young buck say that a roll in the hay should not be underestimated either, but that would only confuse the farmer’s daughter in the kitchen. Wise old king Solomon of ancient times, after carefully pondering all human interests, concluded that “there is nothing better for man than that he should eat and drink.”  A statement of such profound insight was accepted by the plebs as nothing less than a royal decree and since that utterance cooking, eating and the art of composing recipes have become the lofty domain of reputable experts.

But now just pause for a while to consider the wide array of culinary delights and the varying perceptions of that four-letter word “nice.”  Nice, in the context of eating, can mean many things to many people. There are natives in Africa who eat the “most disgusting” stuff ever, meaning worms—Mopani worms they call them, as if that name should make the depravity more acceptable. It would be anathema anywhere in the civilized world to wilfully, intentionally and consciously eat a worm of any kind, colour, shape or size. But is it not true that the so-called “civilized” French eat those ugly, slimy things called snails and …yes!.. …frogs!  There are natives in East Africa who eat cane rats.  The Chinese proudly boast culinary delights such as snake fillets and dog meat in their restaurants and everybody warns you there are some neighbours who already have the body parts of their best friends in the freezer for Sunday lunch; just like Jeffrey Dahmer had. Through the centuries the French and Italian chefs were in the vanguard of culinary excellence and were held in such high esteem that every royal house, every castle of kings, and every lord of the manor insisted on acquiring the services of a chef trained in Italy or France. And they knew all about frogs!

But the world was still a big unexplored place then and way beyond the boundaries of civilization lived the savages of lands not yet discovered by the intrepid seafarers of Europe. When the missionaries later crossed the seven seas and arrived in those remote lands they were astonished to find bone-through-the-nose natives who still practised the tradition of ambushing their neighbours’ children to become the main meal during a village festival. Cannibalism, then seen in comparison to the mythological gods whose daily fare was ambrosia washed down with a double measure of nectar,  significantly diminished the repugnance of eating frogs, snails, snakes, rats and worms.

Food, its preparation, and the eating of it are to a large extent a cultural thing and it could now even be said that, as a person, you will be known not necessarily by what car you drive, but indeed by what you eat.

- Ben Dippenaar -

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