Recipe for a Friday
Step one: Check it is Friday, then choose background music. Note: the courgettes will burn terribly in their efforts to flee this world, if you subject them to Justin Bieber. I recommend Maria Callas, because then when you cry and wail like a banshee attempting hard maths equations, you can blame it on the onion. That dastardly little beast.
Step two: Put 3oz of pasta bows into boiling water. Ignore their cries for help. Heat oil and butter in a wok or other pan large enough that you could knock someone out with it if they crept up behind you. If, like some people, you have unfortunately just broken the scales by dropping them, accept you are now working with ideas of quantities rather than exact measurements. Pretend it's because you're an artiste. Mainly because it's better than calling yourself a bellend.
Step three: Cut up a decent piece of chicken and coat the chunks in plain flour. Add to the wok. Fry til beginning to be golden, and pour away excess buttery goodness because it is just too much decadence and you aren't a French Aristocrat. Yet. Add in one diced onion and an overly plump clove of garlic you've mercilessly crushed like an ill-advised rebellion.
Step four: Pour less than a quarter of a pint of boiling water over a chicken stock cube. Preferably one shaped like an ill-advised kiss (well it was). Add enough of the liquid to the wok that it isn't too dry. ...Golly... I am so exact. How can anyone fail?
Step five: Raid the spice cupboard. Gather all the spices you like the look of. Add in a quarter teaspoon of curry powder, a shake of salt n pepper (don't rap. No no no, don't rap. Ok. Maybe briefly), a pinch of ginger, mixed herbs, mint, paprika, tarragon, and thyme. Sing Scarborough Fair when you open the thyme. Make puns about clocks. Laugh at own jokes. Feel the wooden spoons are judging you. Resolutely ignore the urge to add nutmeg or cinnamon. Also the strawberry-lime cider. These are the sort of ideas that got Heston Blumenthal into trouble in the first place.
Step six: Pop in a large handful of sliced courgette, another of mixed peppers and one of mange tout (sugar snap peas) as well as two sizeable glugs of passata. Maybe three. And a bit. Stir happily. Turn the gas up until it hisses at you like a snake trying to say a tongue twister. Take a moment to make a thirty second phone call at this crucial stage because you do what you like. Then, drain the pasta, and add it to your mix.
Step seven: Add in about an ounce of grated cheddar. Or enough. Whichever. Sample a spoonful of the result. Have another. One more. Consider just eating it all with your face right now. Resist temptation.
Serve for yourself and your mother. Or someone else's mother. Or a friend. Or a date. (Are you dating? Are they sex on legs? Do they have a hot brother? Why aren't we double dating? Why you holding out on me?)
Enjoy. Preferably with alcohol.
Bonus tip: spill some down your front while telling a story with hand gestures, so that when the doorbell goes you have a reason not to open it. Open it anyway. Peer round the door and stare at human. Tell them you would have worn clothes if you'd known they were coming. Wonder why you said that as you are in fact wearing clothes. Close door. Revel in your awkwardness. Sleep.