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Dr John Hawkins

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Posted on 2011/07/31 19:58:45 (July 2011).

[Friday 29th July 2011]
Planned to go to South Wales to visit Vera and Robin this weekend, but had decided to avoid the Friday night crush on the trains and go Saturday morning instead. So we had a nice quiet evening to catch up on some domestic chores and so on.

For dinner I attempted (as I have several times) to recreate an excellent pasta dish I used to have at a (sadly now closed) Italian restaurant in Tokyo called Al Dente. The dish was spaghetti with some Japanese mushrooms (I think probably mainly shimeji) in a tomato and olive oil sauce. I remember it being fantastically rich, and had it several times whilst hungover. I still wasn't quite able to recreate it but I think I got a bit closer this evening. I tried a few tweaks - I remember the sauce not having any "bits" in it other than the mushrooms, so I just used one clove of very finely chopped garlic, no onion, a bit of pureed garlic, and a bit of pureed chilli. I also used a lot of olive oil (as I said I remembered it being very rich) and polpa fine instead of normal chopped tomatoes. For the mushrooms I used a mixture of enokitaki and buna-shimjei, and I fried them separately in a frying pan so that they wouldn't just disappear in the sauce.

The end result was quite good, but still not quite how I remember it.

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