The trouble is, it didn't happen that way as around 3pm my "get up and go" just got up and went, without letting me know.
Which was all very inconsiderate, as it left me wondering what the heck I could come up with instead of the ratatouille pasta bake, using courgettes, mushrooms, tomatoes and broad beans. So the thought process went like this :
"What have I got to use as carbs, if I don't use pasta?".
"Hmmn, I've got some muddy Jersey Royals in the cupboard, doing nothing ...".
"Okay, well, if I use those - maybe I could use them in the pasta bake, instead of the pasta!" (Which goes to prove it was the pasta that I didn't want, rather than the vegetables!).
"No, that won't do. It wouldn't be right, I'd better use them alone and not in with the veg".
"So - what veggies can I make?"
"Oh wow! Courgettes ... and mushrooms .. and yes, I've got a bit of cream left in the fridge .. and some worcester sauce in the cupboard!".
"Oh thank you God, I can make Creamed Courgettes & Mushrooms! Oh, and maybe add some peas and broad beans". (As an afterthought).
Creamed Courgettes and Mushrooms is one of the most delicious and simple things you can do, to a courgette. I first had this veggie side dish when my Mum cooked it to accompany (I forget exactly) either a chop or a piece of steak. I fell in love with it then and repeatedly asked for it, only to have it rejected because "cream is too fattening" or "it's too expensive, with the cream involved" - which are all valid points, but not when you're 12 or 13 years old.
I have to admit that I appreciate both those arguments now and as such, it hasn't appeared on our menu list more than around 4 or 5 times in the last 14 years. However, I am just so glad I remembered it in time to take advantage of the ingredients.
The roast bacon that I served it with, was truly gorgeous. I had boiled the bacon in a 50:50 apple juice/water mix, with an added cinnamon stick, pepper and an onion for around 30 minutes. I then put the bacon into a medium oven (160 deg C) in a roasting dish that was sealed over with baking foil and with a little of the boiling broth inside. I didn't look at it again for an hour and a half, whereupon it then sat in a warm place to rest for another 20 minutes before uncovering, cutting off the fat and attempting to carve it. In truth, it just fell apart and turned into a "one lump or two?" carving method and you could have cut it with a spoon, it was so tender. Amazing.
It went absolutely perfectly with the sweetness of the courgette pieces, the earthiness of the mushrooms and the creamy, savoury sauce. Goodness, it's making my mouth water just thinking about it!
There'll be another day for the rejected Ratatouille Bake - but it wasn't to be on Sunday!
CREAMED COURGETTE & MUSHROOMS (Serves 2-3)
A large knob of salted butter
a splash of olive oil
3 small courgettes, sliced into 5mm rounds
6 or so, chestnut mushrooms, sliced
150ml double cream
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper.
1. Take a non-stick frying pan and melt the butter and add the olive oil to heat through.
2. When the butter is bubbling, add the courgette slices and fry, cut side down, until they have obtained a lovely golden colouring on the one side.
3. Flip each one over to the other side and continue to fry, but add the mushroom slices to the pan.
4. When you think the courgettes will have obtained a good colour, mix the mushrooms in so that they are all touching the bottom of the pan (as much as you can) and continue to fry, but reducing the heat a little.
5. When the mushrooms have become opaque and wilted and the courgettes are softened all the way through, add the cream and the Worcestershire sauce and stir through.
6. Add the freshly ground black pepper to taste and once everything is piping hot, serve.