Day 42 – Pasta

Today I made : Lasagne verde. This took FOREVER. One of the big things I have realised at Ballymaloe is how many corners I cut when cooking at home. If you want to charge money for your food you have to do things right.

I had to individually destalk the spinach leaves without bruising them, blanch them and squeeze out the water, roll out the pasta sheets, blanch them and dry on kitchen towels using up ALL my counter space, and reduce my ragú sauce for nearly three hours. The lasagne has six very fine layers. I thought it would never be ready. Thankfully it was done for lunch and my teacher gave me full marks. Possibly out of pity but I’m not going to question it.

I was supposed to make butter today but couldn’t. This might be too much information but : there was no cream because the cows are currently being inseminated which halts lactation. So I made a loaf of seeded brown soda bread with my extra time. My goal is to make one extra thing a day until the end of the course and dominate the technique list.


In the afternoon demo Rory filleted a very large monkfish. They are goopy and slimy with a very evil face but Rory carves them up effortlessly and makes them taste amazing.

I learned : Monkfish are also known as angler fish because they have an antennae.

Food of the day : Orange cake. One of my classmates made this and hardly any was left by the end of lunch. It tasted like a creamsicle.

Line of the day : From Rory. ‘Certain things become cliché for good reason.’