The FFF activities leading up to 2016 was nothing short of frenzied. We had orders and more orders but you know what they say about all work and no play? Well I don’t want to end up like Jack; bless him but I prefer a more balanced life.
In the midst of setting up the studio and getting our orders out, there were interesting outings and visits in the mix.
In November, I finally got to meet an online friend and fellow foodie; Afrolems a.ka. Atim Ukoh. This brave soul braved the Lagos traffic and came to see me all the way from Festac.
In my mind Festac is another country so it was a big deal to me!
It was delightful time and we connected on so many levels. She was so open and relaxed and it turns out that we had a few friends in common; small world! She is an awesome cook, with great recipes which you must check out at Afrolems. She was also the first person to sign on the FFF Living Wall.
A few days after Atim’s visit, I met an extraordinary lady called Bibi. I had known her brother, Jide, for ages but didn’t realise he was a twin; I know it puts to question the quality of the relationship I had with him but let’s stay focused.
One word describes this woman “joie de vivre”; ok so that’s three words but who’s counting. She has so much energy that it was infectious. Although, I must admit that I couldn’t quite comprehend how she could muster up all that energy in the oppressive heat but I did my best to keep up.
Again, we got on like a house on fire! And now that I think about it maybe the house was on fire because it was quite a hot day!
We had lunch and she loved my cooking! Just when I thought that I couldn’t like her anymore 🙂 It was a simple fare of creamy linguine and meatballs but it was a hit.
She’s so full of ideas that it is dizzying! I call her the lifestyle diva! She bakes, she decorates homes, she’s a curator of all things trendy, chic and classic. You need to visit her site to get sense of what I a talking about.
My advice? If you want to throw together a quick meal for your girlfriends while having a good natter the you must try this linguine recipe.
250 grams Lingune (about half a pack)
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup tomato sauce
2 chopped scotch bonnet peppers (also known as ata rodo)
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 cloves finely minced garlic
1 small diced red onion
1 chopped spring onion (garnish)
¼ cup full cream (you could use a reduced fat version)
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Put a large pot of water on high heat, add about ½ tablespoon salt (I prefer sea salt or kosher salt); bring the water to boil. Add linguine and cook according to packet instructions. Linguine usually cooks in 9 minutes; I recommend that you cook it for 7 minutes and drain it (please do not run it under cold water). Reserve the cooking water in a bowl and set aside.
In a separate pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add chopped onions and garlic. Stir for about a minute and then add in the scotch bonnet peppers and the tomato sauce.
If you don’t have tomato sauce to hand (you can use good quality jarred ones, although I prefer using homemade sauces we popularly call “stew” in Nigeria) you could add freshly chopped tomatoes to the onion, garlic and pepper mix and cook it for a further 5 minutes or so.
Next, reintroduce the linguine to the tomato sauce mix and carefully mix it through until it is evenly coated. Now add the black pepper and taste it for salt. If you need to, add some salt. Please add salt with caution because once it is in the pan there is very little you can do to get it out. Now, add in the cream and stir in. If the pasta mix looks dry and thick the add a splash of the cooking liquid. Then turn the heat off.
If there seems to be excess liquid in the pan, that’s fine. Pasta continues to cook for at least 5 minutes after you take it off the heat. It will soak u all the creamy goodness.
A good alternative to linguine would be some rigatoni. Rigatoni is tube-shaped pasta that has ridges on it. The ridges and shape really help the sauce adhere to it.
Serve it and top it with chopped spring onions and shavings of Parmesan cheese. This meal works beautifully with meatballs. You can find great meatballs recipe here.
Come December there were more social events than one could keep up with but one of the nicest ones I attended with Femi was The Unofficial Christmas Party. It had a 007 theme so everyone was dressed to kill. It had great ambiance, fantastic entertainment and excellent organisation.
It is an annual event that is well worth attending so pencil it for your end of your plans for 2016.
And how could I not mention Smooth 98.1 FM‘s “A night at the Kazbah” Concert? Until I attended the Asa Live in Lagos Concert a few days ago (more on this in another post), I had never been to such a well put together concert. The acoustics were amazing and the performers brough their A game. The night was perfect and Bez killed it by performing “You suppose know”, which much to Femi’s horror I got up to dance to….. too bad everyone already knew I was with him 🙂
Thanks to @Sopemartins and @Mazinoappeal for inviting us to the event.
I entered the new year with a sense of purpose and anticipation and I can tell you that so far it has been pleasantly eventful.
I am grateful and excited about the future.