We - by whom I mean the Old Bat and I - were planning on eating out on Wednesday evening. Indeed, I had already booked a table at our local Italian and had been salivating for a day or two as I considered what I would like to eat. They do a good selection of meat and fish dishes, including hot stone steak, as well as pizzas and pasta meals.
(Hot stone steak: steak served on a hot stone for the customer to cook as he/she likes it. The pic is NOT from our local Italian. This is what our local says: "The stone is made of some of the natures finest materials. We heat the stone in our oven to about 600 degrees Fahrenheit and this will allow you to cook your food exactly as you like and the last bite will be as hot and delicious as the first. The high temperature of the steak stone method sears the steak faster and cooks in the natural juices and nutrients, enhancing the full flavour and tenderness of food. This unique dry cooking method uses no oil or added fat. It ensures a clean and completely natural flavour that is not achievable with other cooking methods.")
I had pretty much made up my mind not to eat my habitual dish - penne alla matriciana - but to try something different. However, I didn't have the option. The OB was unwell and I had to cancel! Luckily, she was feeling a lot better by Thursday, although still not well enough to eat out, and she cooked her interpretation of my version of the matriciana sauce.
My reputation as a culinary expert is decidedly naff. Indeed, for many years, the OB thought I was unable even to burn toast (although I could burn a boiled egg!) but I have proved her wrong on more than one occasion. It was when she took to her bed a couple of years ago that I really came into my own. Left to my own devices at fairly short notice, I decided to experiment with whatever i could find in the kitchen, and my matriciana (perhaps it should be called patriciana) was born. It really is a very simple recipe, quick to cook but extremely tasty. I simply took a handful of pasta (penne, rigatoni or fusili are best) and, while it was cooking, I fried a couple of chopped bulbs of garlic and half an onion, sliced, together with 100 grams of pancetta, and heated half a tin of chopped tomatoes. When cooked, mix it all together and serve with grated parmesan.