Sunday, February 6, 2011

Recipe: Orange Sweet Potato and Ditalini Patties


With temps soaring here in Australia, especially in the kitchen, Fast Food (Murdoch Books) - Quick and easy everyday ideas for cooks in a hurry seemed like a good source for a quick meal on a hot day.  This book is described as:

'Tailored to help the home cook find a little breathing space in a hectic day, each of the 175 recipes in Fast Food is designed to create a mouthwatering meal with minimum time in the kitchen, leaving you more time to spend on the important things in life. This chunky, comprehensive recipe book features a wealth of simple, clearly-explained and illustrated recipes from around the world.'
The recipe calls for Ditalini pasta - a small Italian tubular pasta cut so the diameter is roughly the same as the width.  I substituted a small macaroni I had in the pantry and it worked well although Ditalini would be more aesthetically pleasing. The pasta should be cooked 'al dente' or 'to the tooth' which means that it is not so hard that the pasta is raw inside, nor so soft that it lacks firmness when eaten.   I remember an Australian chef defining 'al dente' as "Just don't cook the crap out of it".   I think that just about covers it.

I served this to 3 vegetarians and 2 meat-eaters - everyone was satisfied and happy.   One I'll be doing again!
Orange Sweet Potato and Ditalini Patties 
2 orange sweet potatoes (about 800g)
1/2 cup ditalini (I used tiny macaroni)
30g toasted pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup (50g) grated parmesan
1/3 cup (35g dry breadcrumbs
plain flour, for dusting
olive oil, for shallow-frying
Prehead the oven to very hot 250 C (500 F).  Pierce the whole orange sweet potatoes several times with a fork, then place in a roasting tin and roast for 1 hour, or until soft.  Remove and allow to cool.  Meanwhle, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of rapidly boiling salted water until aldente.  Drain and rinse under running water.
Peel the sweet potato and mash the flesh with a potato masher or fork, then add the pine nuts, garlic, basil, Parmesan, breadcrumbs and the pasta and combine.  Season.
Shape the mixture into eight even patties (about 1.5cm thick) with floured hands, then lightly dust the patties with flour.  Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the patties in batches over medium heat for 2 minutes each side, or until golden and heated through.  Drain on crumpled paper towels, sprinkle with salt and serve immediately with a fresh green salad.
Serve 4
Note:  Roasting the pumpkin is the most time-consuming part of this recipe and you don't need to be in the kitchen the whole time they are cooking.  The rest is easy!

Until next time,

Annie x 

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