I've been rather bored of my usual risotto as you know, so I've mixed it up with dhal, and now with a different kind of pasta dish which is all kinds of yummy:
Mushroom Ragu with Pappardelle
The recipe for mushroom ragu is from The Stone Soup - one of my favourite food blogs. I recently cleaned my tiny messy kitchen from top to bottom, and realised that one of the reasons it gets so messy is because I try to cook overly complicated things - ie using up to three pans at a time! - and my poor, limited kitchen simply doesn't have the room for all that wizardry. I've said it many times, it is not a cook's kitchen. I need to get more minimal. Jules's recipes on The Stone Soup only have about 5 ingredients in them and are designed to be cooked with minimum fuss and maximum yum factor! I recommend checking it out, if only to get a sense of how simplifying our home cooking can just make life a bit easier :D
I made her recipe basically as it reads, but didn't have bunch of thyme and put in a bay leaf and some dried tarragon instead. And I only cooked it for an hour and fifteen minutes, rather than the two or so that Jules suggests. It was still delicious!
I made fresh pappardelle by doing a little Jamie Oliver trick I saw on his show a few months ago - get fresh lasagna sheets from the supermarket, roll them up into a log and slice into the required thickness - pappardelle is thick, chunky strands of pasta, so about an inch in width. Plonk it into a pot filled with boiling water for about 3 minutes, and there you go! Instant, easy fresh pasta!
I tossed the fresh pappardelle with a little pesto and then served the ragout on top. I left three giant mushrooms whole, just for the aesthetics!
It's luscious enough on its own that you don't need parmesan or anything like that - the only thing that might have been nice would have been some fresh chopped flat leaf parsley.
Who said training for a marathon was hard?! :P