What do you do when the fridge is bare but dinner still needs put on the table? Use up all the pickled and frozen odds and ends and create a delicious pasta bake. That’s what! Faced with half eaten jars of pickled guerkins and red peppers, I had to engage in some creative cooking to turn them into a meal.
Taking in the aroma of the pickled guerkins I was reminded of dill. Aha! I have fresh dill growing on my windowsill. Hmm… what goes with dill? Thinking Scandinavian style, I remembered a had a couple of pieces of frozen pollock in the freezer. Pickles and fish are not a bad combination, but would the vinegar be a bit too full on? Well, I could counter balance that with a white sauce. Oh wait, there’s a little dried up bit of mouldy parmesan in the fridge. Taking the peeler to the bit of cheese I was able to salvage enough cheese to add an extra dimension to the white sauce. With the discovery of a few frozen peas and a dawn raid on the kale in the garden, a pasta bake was coming into sight. From the most unlikely of beginnings, I created one of my best dishes to date. It might not be up there with the gourmet recipes I read in books, but I might create this again in the future.
Here is the recipe. The quantities depend on what you have lying around. It may not take your fancy, but it may inspire you to create something new with your own odds and ends.
- Frozen white fish
- Frozen peas
- Preserved red peppers
- Flour, milk and butter/oil to make a white sauce
- Grated cheese of any variety
- Boil the pasta
- Create a white sauce from the flour, butter or oil and milk and most of the grated cheese
- Fry the garlic, frozen peas, sliced guerkins, peppers and kale
- Cut the fish into cubes and add to the vegetables
- Add the vegetable and fish mix to the pasta, mix well and turn out into an oven proof dish.
- Cover the mix with the white saue and sprinkle with any remaining cheese.
- Bake in the oven at about 180C for approximately 25-30 minutes until slighly golden