‘Chestnut Mushroom and Herb Risotto and Hongroise Potatoes’
I have an essay to write, meaning that I won’t deny myself the extra serving of pota- toes on the side, especially when they’re glis- tening, crispy paprika-coated little nuggets of carbohydrate gold. I’m glad we don’t really eat with our eyes, because although the potatoes were just as appetising to eat as they were to behold, the risotto, though delicious, looked like ‘cat sick’ (to quote the person behind me in the queue). It was flavoured with meaty chestnut mushrooms and delicately balanced herbs, making this dish a homely and whole- some first clunch of the term. My only biting criticism of the dish would be its lack of… bite. The slightly over-cooked, flaccid broccoli pro- vided little textural contrast to what, by my last few forkfuls, tasted like garlic-y porridge. And the carbohydrates that I thought would give me the energy to make it through my essay crisis have resulted in a carb coma, from which I still struggle to rouse myself.
‘Pasta with Creamy Mediterranean Sauce, Cabbage and Broccoli’
I am biased, because I go to St Hugh’s, so I know what’s up with their pasta. I know that their pasta-to-sauce ratio is usually reason- able, generous even; I know that the sauce is usually thick and delicious. Today, Hugh’s let me down. I mean, it was pretty tasty, so we’re a third of the way there, but there were issues. The name ‘Creamy Mediterranean’ is problematic, as it was a little bit creamy, but alas too thin. ‘Pepper extravaganza’ may work better, seeing as the most noticeable feature in the sauce was some leafy chunks of red pepper, and the rest had been extremely well seasoned with – can you guess? – pepper. I also ran out of sauce halfway and had to resort to mixing the pasta with my vegetables (nightmare) which were free, to be fair, and delicious (how dare Anora talk of the broccoli being “flaccid”?!).