Fusilli with baby vegetables

The thing about me and pasta is that it’s my go-to food when I don’t have time or can’t be bothered. Theo Randall’s book (Pasta) has got me thinking about it in a different way. With more care perhaps. I had fusilli in the cupboard and he suggests fusilli with cuttlefish (sadly, this seems to be the only fusilli recipe), as they curl around the pasta so nicely. It reminded me of the time my friend’s boyfriend cooked for us in Treviso, using massive pasta shells to complement tiny little sea creatures perfectly – the little things all got stuck in the shells, so that each mouthful was full of sea flavour and there was no need to chase anything around the plate. That’s the Italian way of choosing pasta – the shape depends entirely on the sauce. However, as today I have an early spring clean on my hands, thanks to the lovely Coco and some critters she’s picked up, I really didn’t have time to go on a mission to find cuttlefish. A few years ago, I would definitely have done that and got incredibly stressed out in the process, but now I am older and wiser, without the inclination to complicate my life

So I decided that I was going to use stuff that I already had in, and that shallots were going to have to do the job of the cuttlefish in Theo’s recipe – of curling round the fusilli, I mean. It turned out to be something worth writing about, so here we are. I fried some shallots in olive oil, added some baby mushrooms chopped in half and finely sliced baby aubergines, and continued to fry throughout the whole time that the fusilli was cooking – so about 20min – stirring occasionally. Half way through, I seasoned with sea salt and some pepper. Then, I added a splash of this amazing balsamic vinegar. I had to, I add it to everything now. I’m sure you’ve heard this before but if you like your food, then it’s really worth spending at least a tenner on good quality balsamic. That was followed by some tomato passata, and a handful of thyme. Allow to simmer for 5min. Finally, add the drained fusilli and stir everything together really well, no rushing. Finally, finish off with parmesan shavings, black pepper and more fresh thyme. Here are the ingredients
Olive oil
Baby closed cup mushrooms
Baby aubergines
Good quality balsamic
Fresh Thyme
Salt and pepper