Sausage, eggs and a fried slice is great served up in a greasy spoon cafe for a bunch of taxi drivers, but is no meal to present a girl you are trying to impress. Ladies Like fuss, frills and that kind of stuff, so what you need is some fancy concoction that looks like it requires much more skill than it did, and cost a lot more than it did. Here is a recipe that should fit the bill. Some may object that spaghetti, like corn on the cob, is messy to handle. However, this actually puts you in a subtle position of power and gives you a great excuse for getting up close to the lady. So, be ready to leap in with the old napkin.
Pasta Rapida Con Crema, Basilico, Aglio, E Pancetta Affumicata
* A packet of fresh spaghetti
* 1/2 pint single cream
* Some streaky bacon (smoked)
* 2 cloves garlic
* Some fresh basil leaves
* Olive oil
* Proper butter
* Freshly ground black pepper
Any of these items that you can't filch can be got at the supermarket.
1. Put a large pan of water on to boil and warm a serving dish and two plates in the oven.
2. While it's all heating up, chop four rashers of bacon and fry them briefly in 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, stirring frequently.
3. Bring down the heat and add a knob of butter and two cloves of crushed garlic. The best way to crush garlic is to put the unpeeled clove under a broad-bladed knife and smash it with your closed fist. The skin then comes off effortlessly. Warning: garlic and butter both burn easily, so cook them slowly over a low heat.
4. Once the garlic has softened stir in a tablespoonful of olive oil and pour in the cream. Season to taste.
5. Keeping the heat low, stir it around briskly until hot, then cover with a lid.
6. Tip the pasta into the boiling water. Follow the instructions on the packet religiously. Fresh spaghetti cooks fast so you must stand there and watch it. Chop the basil while you do.
7. As soon as the spag is cooked, strain it and tip into the serving bowl. Do this carefully because fresh spaghetti is more fragile than dried. Pour the creamy, bacony, garlicky gumbo on top and sprinkle with the chopped basil. Try to make it look pretty, for goodness' sake. The garlic, smoked bacon and basil produce a delicious aroma, and the cream, bacon fat, oil, and butter make the meal delicious, as well as filling. Serve at once on hot plates.
For an economical starter, try a can of consomme and pretend you made it yourself. If you are totally skint, two stock cubes with boiling water in a nice bowl make a delicious light soup. Do it in secret obviously. Properly presented, this works like a dream. If you can run to three drops of Scotch, you'll turn it into a feast. For pudding, a fudgy chocolate bar melted all over some cheap ice cream looks and smells magnificent. Pretend the recipe is an old family secret.
A flower in a tumbler (Snitched from the park or someone's garden) lends a suggestion of class to a bloke's table. Add a candle - not a knobbly one in a tobacco tin all covered in black finger prints: a nice one. Tea lights will do - ladies like them.
~ The correct singular form of 'candelabra' is 'candelabrum'. ~