Thursday, 4 July 2013

Pasta bake for days that don't quite go your way

There are some days when I almost feel like life is under control, that I know what I'm doing, that I'm parenting brilliantly, everything is running smoothly.

When I say some days, I mean, the occasional day.

Like may be once a year.

More often, I don't feel like that at all. And some days it's worse.

Days when I have to get a trombone, a bicycle and a dog up to school as well as the kids (on foot).

Days when I have no idea how I'm going to fit work in, and end up burning the midnight oil.

Days when I realise that they haven't forgotten, and not one but both children want to enter a Fairtrade cake in the Fairtrade cake competition the following day (and you know my views on such things, having vented here before).

They are BANANAS. OK?.

No, it's a fair trade logo & some bananas not a rampant blue & green Pacman
Days when I realise that the maths homework due the following day isn't a series of 'mental maths' tasks on the computer, but a full on 'investigation' of the type school helpfully expect parents to be on hand for the execution thereof: draw a grid 5 by 5 squares big, and then using 13 coins place them so that there is an odd number in each row, column and the main diagonals. Just try it OK.

Days when I have too much stuff to use up in the fridge.

Last Tuesday was one of those days.

Fortunately, there was a bag of pasta, and the things that needed using up were 2 courgettes &, a head of spring greens from last week's veg box, 4 mini chorizo sausages and half a tub of ricotta cheese. I put the pasta on, almost on auto-pilot, and as icing flew, and coins were placed and re-placed on the grid with accompanying sound effects (I'll leave you to imagine), I  engineered tea.

Having put the pasta on to boil, I fried off the chorizo, till the fat was running, then added the diced courgettes to the pan. Once the courgettes were a bit soft, I chucked in a can of plum tomatoes and a good dollop of sundried tomato pesto. 

Once it had all cooked down a bit, I stirred in the ricotta, stirred in the pasta, into a baking dish grated cheese on top and in the oven for some time. Probably about 20 minutes. And steamed the greens.

Oh did I mention, days when you can't get the photos to rotate and upload properly?

We eat something similar at least once a week. The chorizo could be leftover bacon, or cold meat - or no meat, in which case  I might use garlic and smoked paprika and an onion. The courgettes could be red peppers. The sundried tomato pesto could be tomato puree, ordinary pesto, harissa paste - frankly what ever is in the fridge without mold on it.

There's no recipe, and occasionally it's literally just cooked pasta and a tin of tomatoes cooked down with some garlic stirred through the pasta. 

I commend it to you!


  1. I am familiar with those days and I wholeheartedly recommend gin my dear.

  2. I love a pasta bake - pasta anything actually! It's a great way to use up various things lurking in the fridge or veg basket. By the way, the Fairtrade cake is really impressive. Hope your two are suitably proud of themselves!

  3. That pasta bake sounds gorgeoues. Hope life is a little less hectic now, love the cake too! :)


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