Now hearing this didn't entirely surprise me, my lovely flatmate had been typing like a demon for some time, first out on the balcony and then, once the evening chill started appearing, inside. Plus it had been a few hours since we had fish finger sandwiches. And we were sobering up fast.
"I'll leave it in your capable hands", she said.
Oh great. You see, owing to me being a lazy mare, and having lots on during the last couple of weeks, I'd not really kept on top of the essentials, so our store cupboards were showing signs of dangerous depletion. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as it does mean that we can have a clean restock and know we've eaten everything.
So, something pasta based as, well, we had some left. And a tin or two of tomatoes.
I checked the fridge. Oh, a surprisingly firm onion. I chopped the beejesus out of it and chucked it in the pan, a little olive oil and fry, baby, fry. Back to the fridge. A rather soft and unhappy pepper. How did this get missed? Oh well, chop, chop, chop, chop, chop, chop, chop and in to the pan.
Hmm. Oh, fennel, excellent, chopped nice and small. Into the pan. Errr, one tin of chopped tomatoes, a quarter teaspoon (maybe, look, I didn't measure it) of dried chilli, a dash of cayenne, a quarter teaspoon of mild curry powder (I took more notice with this), a decent squeeze of tomato puree and a big stir. That'll do. For now.
Pasta. Heh. Oops. The ex-dirty sausage jars we use for pasta storage are... Depleted. So, all of the remaining penne and a handful of tagliatelle to bulk it out and make my flatmate think I actually thought about this. In to a pan of boiling water and wait 10 minutes, or so. I wasn't really watching.
As the pasta passed al dente I added a few grindings of black pepper and stole yet more leaves from poor Basil, who also looks depleted, chopped them small and chucked them all in the pot too for another couple of minutes.
Drained the pasta, split it in to two and spooned out half of the sauce each. Meanwhile my flatmate grated some of the remaining cheddar we had so we could at least add some new texture to the top of the pasta.
It was all perfectly acceptable.
So that's most of the veg gone from the fridge and I now know I must do a good shop whilst my flatmate is in retreat. Or sitting by a pool.
The other good news is the food was pretty healthiez, you can't go wrong with tomato, onion and pepper, plus a relatively small amount of pasta.
Even given our cocktail excess earlier it's actually been a very healthy day. This will, of course, be the last joint meal for a week and I will miss desperately the routine and companionship, but goodness am I glad she is getting away and can have a nice break from it all.
There may be a series of meals for one. Unless, of course, I can persuade a gentleman friend to take me to dinner...