I remember trying to explain the wonders of the ‘chip butty’ to a group of people online — a ‘chip butty’ is french fry sandwich. It requires something like Wonder Bread (two slices), butter, french fries and salt and pepper. Some people like ketchup or brown sauce on it. Before too long the discussion changed as those familiar with the butty joined in and topics migrated to what kind of mayonnaise should be used and what kind of oil the fries should be cooked in. One woman was adamant about what would be the proper type of artisanal bread to best serve the idea. And while there are probably no end of ways to expand and improve the chip butty, sometimes all you want is a … chip butty.
In the same vein, this following recipe is often looked at askance for the use of the two starches — potatoes and pasta, rather than the bread and fries above. But I think this a fine recipe just the way it is. It’s my fallback recipe when I can’t think of what to eat for dinner. It’s quick, simple and very good. It originally appeared in a book called ‘365 Ways to Cook Pasta’ but since I haven’t looked at the recipe in a long time, I’ll give you my version of it for two people.
¼ cup or less of olive oil
¼ teaspoon or more of red pepper flakes
1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced
half of a red bell pepper sliced thinly
5 oz pasta — I use bow ties (farfalle)
8 oz of potatoes in roughly 1 inch dice
6 oz broccoli florets
Place the potatoes in salted cold water and bring to a boil.
Boil for 8 minutes and add the pasta.
When the pot comes back to a boil, time for another 6 minutes
Add the broccoli and boil for another 6 minutes.
Meanwhile sauté the red bell and garlic in the olive oil. When the potato, pasta and broccoli mix has cooked, drain, return to the pot, add the oil and red bell and garlic. salt and pepper and mix well. Serve on warm plates or soup bowls.
Grated parmesan on top makes a nice addition but I often skip it.
The Chip Butty: