By the Book - week 9 - amaizing!

2/28/2016 07:52:00 pm

I buy corn when I have run out of hay to feed my bunnies. It's so cheap and I feel that giving them corn allows them to exist temporarily in a Beatrix Potter-esque world with vegetables on demand, nibbled in the dusk, safe from Mr McGregor.  I like to let the bunnies imagine that they are real outdoor rabbits. That's why I don't even take the husks or the silk off the corn; it gives them a more authentic experience.

Apparently corn is bad for bunnies, but these two also once ate the mesh of an entire screen door, and have never had any issues with... actually, with anything they have ingested.

I haven't eaten corn off the cob for a long time. It was banned whilst I had braces, but after that I only really ever ate it at music festivals and the Easter Show, dripping in saturated fat and delish salt. Burned in my memory is the sound of my brother's girlfriend chanting, coooooooorn, coooooooooooooooorn, whilst we schlumped through ankle-deep mud and rain at Splendour in the Grass circa 2003. Of course, we used to go before it was cool. And we used to eat a lot of corn.

Anyway, whilst camping recently, we ate a salad of fresh corn, black beans, tomato, avocado, lime juice and coriander (similar to this recipe), and I was reminded that corn is very delicious and is suitable for more than consumption by rabbits or people fuelled by bad weather and alcohol. But what to do with it?

Luckily, for Christmas I was given a beautiful book that focuses on vegetables and what you can do with them when they're in season. Perfect for the people with an overly productive garden and not enough ideas.

It is so visually appealing, with lovely matte pages and woven place markers, and my favourite, an index organised by ingredient.

Mmmmn, delicious starchy vegetables. 
The perfect cookbook - one that makes you feel inferior about both your cooking and your gardening skills!

By the Book - Week Nine - Phaidon, Vegetables from an Italian Garden

Pasta with sweetcorn, pancetta, and baby spinach

300g pasta (the recipe calls for 'ruote', wheels, but there were no wheels to be found)
2 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for drizzling
250g sweetcorn kernels
150g baby spinach
3 thin slices pancetta or bacon, diced
salt and pepper

Cook the corn for 5-10 minutes or until tender (or in my case, microwave for 4 minutes).
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
Drain and tip into a salad bowl, drizzle with a little oil, and stir in the sweet corn. Add the spinach leaves and set aside.
Heat oil in a small pan. Add pancetta/bacon and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until browned and delicious.
Remove from heat and sprinkle pancetta/bacon over the pasta.

It sounds much more impressive as Ruote al mais, pancetta e spinaci novelli. But I won't tell anyone if you don't. 
I had half a red onion in the fridge so added that to the bacon, and I skipped the step that called for 'refreshing' the pasta under cold running water because that seems very strange to me, but apparently it's what you do when making a pasta salad?   Of course, I topped it all off with parmesan because I am a glutton.

I thought this was pretty delicious, and very fast to make.

The girls weren't entirely convinced though.

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