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Bubble and squeak

13 Mar

Ingredients (4-5 people)

  • 2 chopped onionsbubble and squeak
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 30 gr of flour
  • 200 gr of shredded cabbage
  • 50 gr of butter
  • mashed potatoes
  • salt and pepper

Using leftover vegetables has never been more fun! The traditional bubble and squeak recipe was a way of using up leftover vegetables from a Sunday roast. So, it is a good idea to wait until you have some leftover cabbage and potatoes instead of making it all fresh.

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions gently for 5 minutes until tender. Boil the cabbage in salted water for about 4-5 minutes, then drain it well (unless, of course, you’re using leftovers). Make the mashed potatoes and, when ready, add in the cabbage and onions, mix together and season. Make about 12 little rounds of the mixture, pressing down with the back of a spoon to make flat, smooth cakes. Flour lightly each side and gently cook the little cakes on both sides until golden brown. It looks nice to serve the fried cakes cut into wedges and with some mint leaves.

If you’re wondering where the name of this recipe comes from, try listening to the sound it makes when frying in the pan!

Image from Cheers! 🙂

  Gerunds and infinitives

Quando pensi di iniziare a conoscere un po’ meglio la lingua inglese, arrivano i gerundi e gli infiniti a distruggere tutte le tue certezze! Non è così? In effetti, l’uso di gerunds and infinitives è uno di quegli aspetti in cui l’inglese differisce enormemente dall’italiano, ma esistono alcune regole generali che possono aiutarci a scegliere la forma la forma giusta nell’occasione giusta.

In generale, usiamo il gerundio (-ing form):

  • dopo preposizioni e phrasal verbs

This recipe was a way of using up leftover vegetables.

  • quando il verbo è il soggetto della frase

Using leftover vegetables has never been more fun!

  • dopo determinati verbi come: love, hate, like, enjoy, mind, finish, stop, suggest, finish, spend etc.

I hate doing housework, but I have to.

In generale, usiamo l’infinito (+ to):

  • dopo gli aggettivi

It looks nice to serve the fried cakes cut into wedges.

  • per esprimere un fine

Press down with the back of a spoon to make flat, smooth cakes.

  • dopo determinati verbi come: decide, agree, afford, need, expect, promise, refuse, seem, want etc.

I decided to learn English through recipes because it’s more fun.

Naturalmente, sarebbe bello se tutto si limitasse a questi casi… ma poi arrivano le eccezioni e incasinano tutto! Esistono, ad esempio, alcuni verbi che possono essere seguiti da entrambe le forme – gerundio e infinito – a seconda del loro significato nella frase. Vediamone alcuni:


If you can’t open the gate, try using my key. (sto suggerendo un modo per fare/risolvere qualcosa)
I tried to call you, but your mobile was switched off. (esprime un tentativo)


Can we stop to buy some water, please? (fermarsi fisicamente per fare qualcos’altro)
She stopped eating meat after a trip to Tibet. (smettere di fare qualcosa)


Remember to buy some milk on your way back. (non dimenticarti di fare qualcosa)
I don’t remember locking my bike, I’d better go check. (non ricordo di aver fatto qualcosa)

Sounds like loads of fun, doesn’t it?