As cliche as this is going to sound, my mother is the greatest person on earth. Those of you lucky enough to know her personally will be quick to agree that there is no other person in the world with a heart as big as hers and a sense of humour as quirky as hers. She is my best friend, the only person on this earth who has the ability to piss me off to the point where I literally want to hit my head against a brick wall and only minutes later run to her with a hug so big it knocks her to the ground (she is a lot shorter than me).
In saying all of that, my mother is brutally honest with me which at times is as pleasant as having your arm chopped off. She insists on informing me of rising obesity statistics when I reach for my second piece of cake and has tried multiple times to convince me that no one will want to marry me if they find out I don't help her clean the house. This brings me to why I have chosen to add savoury dishes to my dessert blog...
It was a nice stormy Australian summer night and the two of us were in the kitchen sharing a pot of ahwi (lebanese coffee) after making namoora, discussing an array of current affairs when conversation happened to land upon my mothers favourite topic in the whole entire world... marriage.
As I said earlier she has tried previously to convince me that men don't marry women who can't/refuse to clean and now she was worried that I was going to feed my future husband custard tarts and bannoffee pie for dinner. Please keep in mind that I am a 22 yr old uni student who is not in a relationship and not intending on getting married any time soon."All you do is bake sweets,sweets,sweets!! when are you going to be a proper lady and cook real food?!"
I set out to prove her wrong by writing up my own recipe fettuccine and cooking dinner for the whole family the following night.
I have included both recipes for the Semolina slice and the fettuccine. I know that I usually don't encourage healthy eating but in this case I beg you not to eat more then 2 slices of namoora / one serving of fettuccine in one day. These dishes have a VERY high fat content, if you choose to not follow my serving size suggestion then I strongly recommend you keep an ambulance on speed dial as I'm pretty sure you will have a heart attack.
Serves: 6 people
Preparation time: It took me almost a whole day (see why I prefer to make desserts?!)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup shallots chopped finely
5 fresh basil leaves chopped finely
1 clove of garlic (crushed)
300g diced bacon
600ml thickened cream
1/2 cup full cream milk
500g cooked fettuccine
1- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the basil, garlic and shallots. Stir over medium heat for about 2 minutes/ until the shallots have softened.
2-Add the diced bacon, make sure to stir consistently until the bacon is lightly browned. Stir through the mushrooms into the mixture.
3-Add the salt,pepper and nutmeg. Pour in the cream and milk, mix thoroughly.
4-Allow the mixture to cook on low heat until it starts to simmer, stir it consistently to make sure the cream doesn't go clumpy.
5-Add the pasta to the sauce,stir to combine evenly.
6-Garnish with fresh basil leaves to serve, enjoy!
Semolina Slice (Namoora)
250g softened unsalted butter
5 cups course semolina
2 cups sugar
300g sour cream
1- Lightly butter a 32cm round tin and preheat oven to 180 degrees.
2-In a bowl, mix sugar and semolina.
3-Add the sour cream and butter to the mixture.
4-Mix everything together using your hands until it forms a very soft dough.
5-Flatten the mixture into the tray and smooth out till flat and even.
6-Using a knife make a diamond pattern cutting through right to the bottom. Place an almond on each square.
7-Place the tray in the fridge to rest for about an hour.
8- To make the Sugar syrup, place 2 cups sugar, 1 cup water, 2 tablespoon rosewater and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Stir over low heat until it simmers and becomes a clear syrup. Set aside.
8-Preheat the oven to 180degrees and bake the Namoora till it appears to be golden brown.
9-Pour the sugar syrup over the whole thing as soon as you take it out of the oven, leave for about an hour for the syrup to be totally absorbed.
10-slice, serve and enjoy!