This evening I’ll be setting off with another few thousand or so cyclists heading to the Suffolk coast on the Dunwich Dynamo. It’s a pretty daunting 120 miles, so packing enough food to keep you going for the nine or so hours of cycling is a big deal. I’ve got some 9 Bars, Gail’s granola bars and a Twix for the end as a treat, but I’m not such a fan of sweet food, especially not as an energy source. On a slightly tipsy journey home this week, I started brainstorming a savoury flapjack, made from pasta and all sorts of tasty things. The Italian torte di pasta is a like a Spanish tortilla, but with spaghetti instead of potato, I ate it a good few years ago and it was a totally delicious carbfest.
My ‘Dunjacks’ as I’ve named them, are loosely based on a torte di pasta, but with a bit of cheese sauce for flavour and some lentils, sunflower seeds and poppy seeds for energy. I also added mushrooms and made a version with bacon for the meat eaters, hopefully it should keep us all going until dawn!
Ingredients for Dunjacks
One packet of wholemeal spaghetti
Pint of milk
300g green lentils, cooked
250g mushrooms, sliced
Few rashers of bacon (optional)
Sunflower and poppy seeds
Butter, oil, s&p, smoked paprika, chilli powder, thyme, mustard
Fry off the onions sloooowly in a butter/oil mixture, when soft add in about two tablespoons of flour and stir through until browned slightly. Start adding in the milk, stirring and whisking if necessary to remove lumps. Add in the s&p, thyme, chilli powder, smoked paprika and mustard. Start frying the mushrooms in a separate pan and put the pasta on the boil in lots of salted water, while this is bubbling away take the white sauce off the heat and grate in the cheese. Stir in the mushrooms, bacon if using, cooked lentils, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds and the four eggs. Drain off the pasta (you want it to be al dente so it absorbs the sauce in the oven) and return to the pan along with the cheese sauce mixture. Pour into pyrex dishes and bake in the oven for about half an hour at about 180 C, check all the liquid has been absorbed and leave to set before cutting into squares and wrapping in foil.
Isabelle O'Carroll: I’m a writer, content designer and consultant with 11+ years’ experience across fashion, food and drink and the arts.