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My Lovely Horse
Aug 21, 2010

So here's what happened. I cook a lot of Indian food from day to day and I was all set to do an as-authentic-as-possible bowl of mixed rice with a small selection of curries and dals and maybe a bit of pickle to round it out. Come the weekend I was going to tackle this, and I find my ladyfriend is making pizza and has bought a veritable heap of Italian ingredients we couldn't have hoped to go through in one day. Well there's no sense in wasting. Post pizza, I looked through the Italian pile and my cupboards and here's what I found.

Can of chickpeas, a smattering of dried cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, leftover basil and garlic, olive oil, grana padano, and orzo pasta.

Well, it looks like rice. Let's make a quick pasta salad!

Cooking the orzo takes about 10-15 minutes, more than enough time to prep the rest of your ingredients. So get that going first and then:

Rehydrate those tomatoes!

Wash that basil and pluck it into pieces!

Chop yo' garlic! Slices are fine, no need to mince it.

Grab a pan and set the pine nuts over medium-high heat, and keep a close eye on them. Toss frequently so they roast evenly.

This is about right. Transfer them into a bowl, add a splash of oil to the pan and fry the garlic slices very briefly until they just about take on a golden color. I had the pan too hot and it took mere seconds, not even enough time to get the camera for that step. If I'd minced it I'd have had a pile of garlicky ash.

Bit too dark, really. Although I do like crispy fried garlic.

Finished orzo pasta I MEAN RICE.

The actual mixing is visually unexciting. Drain the tomatoes and chickpeas, grate as much grana padano as you'd like, and go for it. Add a good splash of olive oil as well as salt and pepper to taste, and you get something a little like this:

This did serve us as a full meal (along with the mixed salad barely visible on the left, which I can't take credit for). I'd say "would make again" but really as improvised as the whole affair was, I knew from the start I would. I did learn that chickpeas work really surprisingly well in this sort of thing!


The Midniter
Jul 9, 2001

That looks simple, filling, and absolutely delicious. Great job!

Mar 28, 2010

Yip Yip, bitch.

That looks positively stunning. I'm also glad that you managed a pasta salad without the dreaded mayonnaise. Well played!

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