Following on from yesterday’s post about ‘Ted’ (the sculpted bear from Brenda May Gallery in Waterloo), Jared Ingersoll of Danks Street Depot and the Cotton Duck now deserves a little more air time on my blog. When I thought about it some more, I realised his food has had a bigger influence on me than first thought. His food has developed something of a following in this neck of the woods.
Danks Street Depot continues to be one of our ‘go to’ brunch spots in the weekend (particularly with the recent closure of Alex Herbert’s Bird Cow Fish). Slightly more up-market Cotton Duck provides great food and great service in an unpretentious style that appeals.
The Danks Street Depot Cookbook continues to be a staple in my rather extensive collection. Particular favourite dishes are:
– the Corned Beef, which even Jared calls the ultimate nana food! There’s usually enough left over to make some great Reubens.
– the Drunken Aunties’ Plum Trifle. Best with plums fresh from the tree, if you happen to have a plum-tree handy! I discussed how much I loved this dish with our waitress at Danks Street one time, and she said “Oh! I’m Jared’s niece. They’re my aunties, too!”
– the Spaghetti with Cauliflower Strascicata. So, so, SO good!!! In fact, it’s so good, here’s the recipe (directly from the Danks Street Depot website)…
Spaghetti with cauliflower Strascicata
Serves 4 (generously, I think)
At first glance, it looks like there is way too much chopping in this recipe and the fried cauliflower may seem strange to some people. But as soon as you start cooking and all of the aromas come together, you’ll find it very difficult not to start eating it straight out of the pan – the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan are best eaten in greedy solitude.
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped into thumb-sized pieces
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
3 anchovy fillets, chopped
2 large red chillies, chopped (keep the seeds in if you like a little more heat)
50g salted capers, rinsed and chopped
100g pitted olives, chopped
1 bunch of flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped
60g toasted sourdough breadcrumbs
200g Parmesan cheese
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain, then cool; while cooking drizzle with a little olive oil and gently toss.
In a large, heavy-based frying pan, heat the rest of the oil over a medium heat, add the cauliflower and fry until they just start to change colour. Add the garlic mix well then the olives, anchovies, chilli and capers. When the cauliflower starts to become tender and take on a rich, golden colour, add half the parsley and the cooked spaghetti. When the pasta is hot, add the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and remainder of the parsley.
The Parmesan will start to stick to the pan; use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan (this is where the term ‘strascicata’ comes from, meaning ‘to drag’). Remove from the heat and serve immediately with a wedge of lemon.
You can buy the Danks Street Depot Cookbook here.
PLEASE let me know if you make the Spaghetti.
Update: Jared has announced the Cotton Duck will close its doors on Saturday 31 March. Danks Street Depot will remain open (Phew!!!)