How to layer flavours on the fly
This is how my husband described this week's pasta dinner.
A Thursday night after a busy day in the shop, I started cooking even later than usual. And like so many of us, I defaulted to a quick pasta sauce.
It was a 'use what you have' kind of sauce - my preferred cooking style.
An onion, some garlic, an old leek, a wrinkled red pepper, half a courgette, a couple of lovely fresh tomatoes (only two, to avoid a 'tomatoey' result), herbs (dried basil and oregano, frozen parsley), spices (fennel and allspice to sweeten the tomato).
It was so delicious - and so ordinary at the same time.
The secret: layering the flavours to make it more interesting, more tasty, more nutritious.
Also the perfect reason to use up what we had lying around, saving time, frustration, and money.
Intuitive cooking really makes it easy it throw together something delicious from ordinary ingredients you already have in your kitchen.
And despite what we are made to believe, adding a few 'random' extra ingredients will not ruin your dish.
More layers = more flavour = more deliciousness.
Still unsure? Here are few quick tips on how to layer flavours:
* Flavours blend together into a taste experience that is greater than the sum if its parts.
Throwing in a stick of celery or a chopped carrot will no make your dish 'taste like' celery or carrot, it will just make it taste better.
* Think of harmony and contrast: layers that enhance or counterpoint your existing ingredients.
* Herbs and spices are your best friends when it comes to maximum effect for minimum quantity.
* Flavour bombs are a great way to boost your flavour layers - I always keep a few in my kitchen.
* Balance is important: keep tasting and tweaking until it's right.
Be bold, you can't break it: trust your taste buds.