A friend recently asked me where I get my food inspiration from. I never really thought about this… I like to experiment with food combinations I already know by using them in novel ways and frequently come up with new ones as I cook. But come to think of it, I actually take pleasure in eating out and often attempt to recreate the dishes I’ve had at a restaurant for home use. It’s a great way to reinvent the home menu a little and give credit to the great culinary minds out there, who thought of the dish in the first place.
My most recent challenge was set by Mr Chipconnoisseur, following a visit to Etch. He fell in love with the burnt spinach lasagne at first sight bite, and I have to be honest that from a little tasting I had, I fell in love with it too. It has to be one of the best modern takes on this dish I’ve ever had.
The pasta was fresh and silky smooth – there is no substitute for pasta made from scratch. The spinach and pumpkin puree were wonderfully buttery with a slight hint of sage and pecorino. And the addition of hazelnuts (which I am crazy about at the moment) was the icing on the cake for me. The restaurant’s fresh food philosophy delivers on its promise: you can taste the freshness of each ingredient in every single bite. If there is a Foodie Heaven – this is what they serve at meal time.
No wonder Mr Chipconnoisseur was keen to have it again, and so soon, but attempted by me at home. The pressure was on. And according to my own judging panel of one, my home cooked version turned out pretty delicious too.
I should say that this is not the original recipe for the dish, but merely my interpretation of what I tasted on the evening. It’s a sketch, if you like – a tasty reproduction and a fallback option if you are unable to get to taste the real thing.