Some days the only thing that will help is pasta. Comforting wonderful pasta. Some people turn to chocolate cake, I turn to pasta (or melted cheese) or maybe both 😉
This week, I went shopping without a menu planned. I know, it doesn’t sound that big a deal, but for me it can spell disaster. Not because there will be nothing to eat….I have a nice stocked pantry so I could cook meals from the pantry for a week, although with Stew still hitting the no-carb diet with a vengeance that isn’t as easy as it once was! My problem isn’t lack of food it is too much food. I love food shopping, I walk up and down every aisle and look at everything, which if I have a shopping list and meals planned isn’t a problem,. If I go to the supermarket blind, I end up spending twice as much, come home with far too many perishable items and usually I don’t get enough protein. All in all it is a disaster. I end up wasting food and feeding the boys pasta for 3 nights running!
Not that we (with the exception of Stew) would mind eating pasta for 3 nights running! For the whole of January my parents were visiting and my Dad can’t eat gluten (yes I know they do gluten free pasta but it isn’t the same) So pasta has been pretty scarce here in temporary rickety cottage. I feel a bit of a fraud calling it that! This house is in no way a cottage and it certainly isn’t rickety. Infact the new house (when it is finally built – don’t get me started!) won’t be a cottage, or fingers crossed rickety! So I may have to drop the Rickety Cottage moto 🙁
Somehow, brand-new homestead doesn’t have the same ring. Anyway, unusually for me, I digress!
Pasta has not been around here much recently, so when I was shopping this morning for rice, that is all I wanted, having forgotten it earlier in the week!!! I saw some curly fettuccine and just had to buy it! It looks like octopus legs, but it is such a wonderful pasta to cook with as the curly edges make great holes for the sauce to stick.
Unable to resits and knowing that it might be unfair to eat a big bowl of pasta in front of Stew, I opted to cook it for my lunch. I had baby yellow squash ready to roast for a salad for Stew’s lunch, so I put a few extra into the pan and daydreamed of smooth, cheesy pasta dishes.
The roasting of the squash is what takes the time. After that everything comes together in the time it takes to cook the pasta.
Let me describe this dish to you, creamy pasta with the bite of rocket, aromatic onions, the soothing taste of cheese and the soft charred addition of roasted squash. Honestly it is delicious and vegetarian to boot. You could I suppose if you are feeding diehard carnivores add some crispy fried bacon or some chicken pieces. But honestly it doesn’t need it, it is just wonderful as it is.
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- 6 small yellow button squash
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 200 g fettuccine
- half a small red onion
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter a large knob
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest reserve the lemon for serving
- 120 g rocket
- 30 g grated Parmesan
- half a lemon
- Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC/fan forced 180ºC/Gas mark 6.
- Place the button squash into a roasting tin, sprinkle over salt and pepper and drizzle over the olive oil.
- Roast for 30 minutes until soft and slightly charred.
- Once the squash have had a good 20 minutes, put a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta.
- Salt generously and add the pasta. Cook as per the instructions on the packet.
- Meanwhile, finely chop the red onion.
- In a large flying pan heat the olive oil and butter.
- Fry the onion off until it has started to soften and colour, remove from the heat. Add the lemon zest and allow to sit and rest
- Once the pasta is cooked reserve 2 cups of the pasta water and then drain.
- Add the pasta to the buttery onions.
- Pour in 1 cup of the pasta water and the parmesan cheese.
- Stir well until you have a creamy sauce. If it is too sticky add more of the pasta water.
- Stir through the rocket.
- Remove the squashes from the oven and cut into quarters.
- Stir the squashes through the pasta.
- Serve with extra parmesan, freshly cracked black pepper and a squeeze of lemon.