Sardine Pasta

Did you ever have one of those days when you ‘wake up tired’, bit like waking up dead? That feeling that you are just counting down the hour and minutes before you can return to the comfort of bed. There is just no excitement or enthuisam about the day ahead. Well today was one of those days for me. I was awake as soon as the light crept past out blackout blinds and then I was waiting for my alarm clock to get to seven o’clock before I dragged myself out of bed.

I try, when I am working from home, to get up at seven and spend the time until 9 am – slowly getting ready for work. What!!! I hear you say – 2 hours to get ready for work!!! I have no children so I only have myself to look out for in the morning. Since I returned to work in July, I’ve tried to cultivate a calmer morning routine. So when I don’t have 90-minute commute to face, I try to make the most of the mornings. I have a cup of tea and sip it slowly, and allow myself to uncrease from the night. I used to listen to an album on Spotify on the mornings in the summer and just stare dreamily out of the my conservatory windows; but old habits die hard and I have now deteriorated to scrolling through my social media feed and reading about the latest disasters and outrages. Not exactly calming. After my tea I shower, get dressed and then I will pick up on whatever audiobook or Kindle book I am currently reading. It was – when I could consistently do this – a really good start to the day. However I don’t always make it. Sometimes I lie in for a little longer – managing only my cup of tea, shower and then at my desk for 9 am start. I guess the only thing that is the same is when I have to commute into work. It’s 60 miles across the M25 and M1 and there are no opportunities for a lie-in if I want to get to work on time. Even leaving on time is no guarentee I will get to work on time. One Friday, the M25 was essentially shut and it took me 2 1/2 hours to get to work. Exhausted before I even started the day. However I managed to attend meeting (late) and complete my clinic, albeit late.

Back to this morning…

I somehow decided that I would start early today to make up for the fact that Monday was a Bank Holiday and a non-working day. I mean Monday is normally admin heavy for me and I work from home. So I could have worked from home on Monday but I somehow preferred to watch the Queen’s State funeral and bake a chocolate cake. It did mean that all my letters that I would have normally completed were still waiting to be dictated. In addition to this I did a new patient clinic yesterday, accumalating more letters. I drove home yesterday, contemplating the number of reports I still had to do and the number of patients booked in for me for Thursday and Friday, not including any potential child protection medicals that are likely to arise. Then the thought occured to me that I had swapped my next on call and in fact next Monday I am on call again with a clinic booked as well, and as I spent along the M25 I could mentally see the reports pile up to their double figure backlog that I have managed to avoid for a few months. I don’t think I could stomach the thought of trying to wade through stacks of notes, not again. So while I got up at my usual time, today, tired out of my mind, I had a really quick cup of tea and was at my desk just after seven thirty. I worked until just after 0830 and then took a shower and got dressed in time for my first meeting at 0900. And then I worked all through the day until 2030. Crazy. But I’ve dictated all my letters, answered all my tasks, prepped for Thursday clinic and started reviewing the notes for the Friday clinic. I am of course exhausted, somehow feel a little foolish. The truth be told, I’ve been bone tired all day, I nodded off at my desk somewhere between 1500 and 1600.

The most interesting part of my day was lunch, afternoon snack of chocolate cake and dinner. Yes, you’ve guessed it – eating…

I have still had to largely keep to the plan of me making lunch and Ignacio doing the dinners when I am working from home. It does mean that I do leave my desk during the working day, which is a must, if only to preserve my sanity and prevent any DVTs! I have long since stopped the Monday morning meal planning – it was cute but not sustainable! So I cook whatever I can find in the kitchen. Today I opened the cupboard and found a lonely can of sardines. My tired brain didn’t have a clue what to with it, as well as the half-finished packet of linguine that was also lying about. I turned it over to ‘trusty Google’ sardine sauce to make with pasta , I chose the 3rd recipe from Hungry Healthy Happy as I happended to have all the ingredients in the house, it looked nice and I liked the name of the website!

It was very easy to make and helped me relax after a morning of staring intensly at my computor screens and talking into my dictatphone.

Ingredients

  • 140 g spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 shallots – finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves – crushed
  • 1 lemon – juice and zest only
  • 80 g spinach
  • 160 g sardines – canned
  • 7 g parsley – finely chopped
  • 1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes – (less if preferred)
  • 50 g sun-dried tomatoes – chopped

Instructions

  • Cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions – normally 10-12 minutes.140 g spaghetti
  • Heat the oil in a pan and cook the shallots until softened, about 2 minutes.2 tablespoon olive oil,2 shallots
  • Add the garlic and chilli. Stir and cook for a further minutes.3 garlic cloves,1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • About 2 minutes before the spaghetti is cooked, add the spinach to the water.80 g spinach
  • Add the sardines, lemon juice and zest, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes and salt and pepper to the shallots. Gently stir to avoid breaking up the sardines too much.1 lemon,160 g sardines,7 g parsley,50 g sun-dried tomatoes,1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
  • Drain the spaghetti and spinach, reserving a small amount of pasta water.
  • Add the drained spaghetti, spinach and reserved water to the sardine mix. Mix well and serve.

Finally product was delicious! I have to say I didn’t weight or measure anything. I used plain old onions and dried parsley as I did not have shallots or fresh parsley. Voila – a quick and easy lunch. Also, something that is really easy to adapt with similar ingredients in the cupboard.

It’s now 2315. I really need to sleep.

Goodnight.

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