I returned to Buenos Aires on Monday night, welcomed by a drop in temperatures after heavy rains erased some of the tremendously hot, humid summer weather.
Suffering from post-vacation blues, and having had to head straight to work the next morning, I’ll admit that I’d lost some of the enthusiasm for cooking in the kitchen which I had just before heading back to Asia for my holidays.
While unpacking my luggage just now, I came across Jinhua’s gift to me – a beautiful apron to work with.
The simple sight of this piece of art, which states “Made with Love”, was more than enough to get me going into the kitchen.
Even if that meant just watching and chatting with Juan’s mum, who was making stewed beef fettuccine.
The cold, and unusually windy midsummer’s night was ideal for some warm, thick pasta accompanied by a hearty tomato beef stew, sweetened by the ripeness of orange-red tomatoes and caramelized onions.
Being Spanish-Italian by descent, Juan’s mum’s nimble fingers got about to work very quickly, creating a dish to snuggle up to and gather around. With one large pot simmering over low heat, and fettuccine pasta cooking in another, the aromatic smells of dried oregano, tomatoes and onions soon tickled our appetites.
It’s marvellous waiting for food to cook – a miracle you can be witness to.
Then savor the moment and enjoy the tastes.
STEWED BEEF FETTUCCINE (Serves 4-5)
Adapted from Juan’s mum’s recipe
1) 1 packet of dried fettuccine pasta
2) 1kg of rump steak
3) 2-3 tablespoons of dried oregano
4) 1/2 cup of sliced, de-seeded olives (green or black, your choice)
5) 1 large onion
6) 2 cans of tomato puree
1) Dice the onion
2) Sautee the diced onions in a large pot until they start to caramelize
3) Cut the rump steak into cubes
4) Once onions start to caramelize, add in rump steak cubes, browning them over low heat
5) Add in tomato puree, sliced olives and dried oregano
6) Stir over low heat, then leave covered for 15-20 minutes
7) Cook pasta as indicated on packet
8) Once pasta is cook and water is drained, pour pasta in a large bowl, and cover with the tomato beef stew