Greetings from Sydney!!! I LOVE it here! My friend Luke and I touched down about 8:15 a.m. Sunday morning. I was surprisingly un-jet lagged and we spent Sunday walking around Smucky’s neighborhood. We decided to take it easy the first day so I cooked the three of us a meal. At the grocery store I found these:
So kangaroo pasta it was!
The challenge was cooking the meal. Smucky has lived in his house for nine months now, so you’d think it’d be reasonably stocked. However, Smucky does not cook – at all – and it was painfully obvious. His oven was pleading for help. I’m not kidding: the clock/temperature window read “H E L P” when I got there. I assuaged its pain somewhat by setting the clock, but between the three of us we were unable to get the oven – other than the clock – to work. Smucky claims it’s been used since he moved in, but it definitely doesn’t work now. And he didn’t even know!
Before leaving the States, I had asked Smucky if he had a decent knife, planning to pack my chef’s knife if he didn’t. He stated he had a “big knife”, so I didn’t bother. Smucky’s “big knife”, however, turned out to be nothing more than a glorified steak knife, accompanied by about 20 steak knives. So after an hour in King of Knives, I bought him a cheapish but somewhat decent chef’s knife. I can’t live without a knife!
Smucky’s mum has stocked him with a few pots and pans that he’s never used, so I did find a nice pot for cooking the pasta and a large skillet. After a few minutes of panic (on my part), he even managed to scrounge up a cutting board. So I was finally in business. Kangaroo pasta and a tossed salad! A quick and easy meal prepared in a woefully underused kitchen!
1 pound kangaroo-shaped pasta (obviously you can use any pasta but unless it’s kangaroo shaped it won’t be Kangaroo Pasta)
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp capers
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp chili flakes (I added this to my dish separately since I was dining with spice sissies)
sea salt to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
Mince the garlic and chop the onion.
Chop the sun-dried tomatoes and measure the capers.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and garlic.
When the onions are translucent …
… add the sun-dried tomatoes and capers.
Cook for a few minutes, then add the fresh tomatoes …
… and the tinned tomatoes. Season with oregano, salt, and chili flakes.
Let the tomatoes cook down for a few minutes, then add the basil and the pasta and allow to warm up.
I also made a tossed salad.
For a dressing, I just mixed together some olive and balsamic vinegar, along with a bit of salt and garlic. Smuck doesn’t have a whisk, can you believe that?! I used a fork.
I had also bought a baguette: if Smucky’s oven doesn’t work I can’t bake my own, unfortunately. Here’s the table:
Smucky’s father had suggested a good Australian red for us. And here’s the pasta plated:
Luke – who couldn’t tolerate a vegan meal and cooked up some sausages for himself and Smucky- adds some dressing to his salad:
Smucky was very happy to enjoy a home-cooked meal for once!
Happy as the Smuckster was, I was not that happy with the meal, unfortunately. First of all, I didn’t let the pasta warm up enough after adding to the sauce and it was not as hot as I’d have liked. Secondly, I don’t think this is really the thing to make with kangaroo-shaped pasta. This dish is really better with penne or something like that. I think kangaroo pasta is crying out for a more mac and cheese approach. I have another box of it though!
Now that the food is out of the way, meet Max Powers!
Max is Smucky’s cat, whom I LOVE! I always feel a little sad and lost when staying in a catless home, so I was very happy when Smucky got Max, and not only that, but Max is very friendly and loves me too! And he’s so handsome!
And now if you will indulge me, a few photos from my trip so far…
My dear friend Smucky in his natural habitat:
We visited the famous Sydney Opera House:
And then the Botanical Gardens next door:
The greatest thing about the Botanical Gardens, though, is the BATS! I have a life-long love of bats and the Sydney Botanical Gardens are home to a very large breed of macrobat called flying foxes or fruit bats and they are really, really neat.
He’s sticking his tongue out!
There are also wild parrots!
Today, we walked from Bondi Beach to Congee Beach, which is a beautiful (but long!) walk. Here’s me and Pig early in the walk:
And some waves:
It’s February and I was hanging out on the beach! I’m sunburnt! I’m sure I’ll be back with another post before I return home next Friday, but please forgive me if my posts are sporadic and possibly non-food related. Eating vegan is easy in Sydney, though. Cheeseless pizza on its way to me as I type!