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Steamed Pasta Pudding

ingredients

serves 4
125 g (4 oz) short-cut macaroni, or other short pasta shapes
1 tbsp olive oil
15 g (1/2 oz) 1 tbsp butter, plus extra for greasing
500 g (1 lb) white fish fillets, such as cod, haddock or coley
a few parsley stalks
6 black peppercorns
125 ml (4 oz) 1/2 cup double (heavy) cream
2 eggs, separated
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill, or parsley
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
60 g (2 oz) 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
Basic Tomato Sauce (see below), to serve
dill or parsley sprigs, to garnish

method

1. Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water, adding the oil. Drain in a colander, return to the pot, add the butter and cover the pan. Keep warm.

2. Place the fish in a frying pan with the parsley stalks, peppercorns and just enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Lift out the fish with a fish slice, reserving the liquor. When the fish is cool enough to handle, skin and remove any remaining bones. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
3. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and stir in the cream, egg yolks and dill. Stir in the fish, taking care not to break it up, and enough liquor to make a moist but firm mixture. It should fall easily from a spoon but not be too runny. Whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry, then fold into the mixture.

4. Grease a heatproof bowl or pudding basin and spoon in the mixture to within 4 cm (1 1/2 inches) of the rim. Cover the top with greased greaseproof paper and a cloth, or with foil, and tie firmly around the rim. Do not use foil if you cook the pudding in a microwave.

5. Stand the pudding on a trivet in a large pan of boiling water to come halfway up the sides. Cover and steam for 1 1/2 hours, topping up the boiling water as needed, or cook in a microwave on maximum power for 7 minutes.

6. Run a knife around the inside of the bowl and invert on to a warmed serving dish. Pour some tomato sauce over the top and serve the rest separately. Garnish with the herb sprigs.

basic tomato sauce

2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
425 g (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp tomato puree (paste)
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper

1. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and fry the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and fry for another minute.

2. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, parsley, oregano, bay leaves, tomato puree (paste), sugar, and salt and pepper.

3. Bring the sauce to the boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 15 - 20 minutes until the sauce has reduced by half. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Discard the bay leaves before serving.

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