Minced meat, pancetta, and mushroom sauce


One could call this sauce “Bolognese with mushrooms,” but then we would open up a discussion on what a Bolognese should be, and I am too impatient for that. In any case, this sauce was rich and fabulous, made by following the recipe for the classic Bolognese (or at least what I consider classic), but then adding some fried mushrooms to the mix. And yes, I used a can of tomatoes and the leftover Amarone, thank you for asking.

When I made this, the day was one of the first really cold autumn days, and it just hit the spot.

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Dinner menu for meat-eaters and vegetarians

It has been quite a long week, and some very long weeks are coming up, so I was looking forward to the opportunity to lose myself in cooking. We have guests, so this is a good excuse to make copious amounts of food.

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Braised beef


I still have loads to learn about the anatomy of a cow to be able to name all the muscles and bones that are appropriate for particular dishes. In the meantime, I went to a butcher and asked for some braising beef. The piece I got was about 800 g, just enough for a weekend’s worth of food.

The recipe I used is a modification of a recipe from Giorgio Locatelli’s book “Made in Italy. Food and stories.” He used veal shanks, with the intention of making them into ravioli. I had the same ambition with my braised beef. But first things first.

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Arabic-inspired spread

This is a winner: made on a weeknight for guests, it was delicious and not terribly complicated to make. Alongside the spread, I served warm fluffy pita breads, as I prefer them over the thin flatbreads. We had some white Burgundy to drink, it fit quite nicely.

Butter chicken

The macro is strong in this one

The macro is strong in this one

This is the first time I think I really nailed an Indian dish. Normally there is that little something missing, but this time I think the depth of flavour was there.

In my head, I am comparing it to a dish I had last week, when I went with a colleague to a restaurant near the office. The version there was excellent in flavour and the inspiration for tonight’s experiment. In contrast to my version, however, it was radioactive red; nevertheless, I think my humble interpretation is not lagging behind in flavour.

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Spaghetti meatballs

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Ah, a real Italian dish… NOT! But still a very tasty and comforting dish to warm a chilly and rainy day in June. This is a Jamie Oliver’s recipe that you can find in his book Jamie’s Ministry of Food, subtitled Anyone Can Learn to Cook in 24 Hours. I own a German translation of this book: I bought it in the vain hope it will improve my German. It did not. I wonder if it taught anyone to cook in 24 hours…

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Lamb and peas


What says “spring” more than lamb & peas? I made this dish for my own selfish pleasure, as the boyfriend doesn’t really like peas, while I adore them.

I took the recipe from a Croatian cookbook I own, and you can really get this typical Croatian vibe in the dish: the flavours are very mellow, the lamb and the peas shine, and there is not much to hide behind.

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