Say cheese

Fresh pasta with roasted squash, broccoli and gorgonzola

Ah, Paris.

I write this propped up in our bed, basking in the unseasonal October sunshine whilst listening to our neighbour play his accordion. Yes, accordion. La vie est belle.

AS is at the creche this morning, meaning I have a few precious hours to myself. Time these days is short.

I’ve been taking full heed of the paediatrician’s latest advice to offer as wide a range of tastes, textures and foods as possible to nine month old AS (see last week’s curry). On the whole what I eat, he eats. Apart from the occasional chocolate brownie. I’m guessing that’s probably not recommended quite yet. DS has been away again, this time in Lapland (I hope he gave Santa a LONG list on our behalf), so meals have had to be minimum fuss, maximum joy.

My (our) favourite go-to instant supper of the moment is this: fresh tagliatelle, roasted squash, broccoli and gorgonzola. Blue cheese, you say? For baby? Well, yes, because gorgonzola is one of the few PASTEURISED blue cheeses. Whoopee. In, fact, AS probably has a taste for it due to the quantities I consumed whilst pregnant.

I seem to have a constant supply of roasted squash in the fridge at this time of year. I simply can’t get enough (see this or this for more ideas on what to do with it). In France the most readily available type is the kora squash (potimarron, fr.) which is teardrop shaped and bright orange. If you can get your hands on one of these, do. I roast them in halves (seeds scooped out, skin on) until the flesh is soft enough to spoon. Otherwise, any roasted squash or pumpkin here would be fine.

Despite this being an instant, cheesy, pasta dish, it’s still pretty good on the nutritional front. The roasted squash is packed with vitamins A, C and carotene. Broccoli boosts vitamin K, folate and fibre. Gorgonzola brings calcium and protein. The pasta is….well, for carbs. No-one likes to wake up hungry in the middle of the night. In general I go for more nutritious whole grains over refined types, but fresh pasta is one of the places I can make an exception. We don’t eat it every day. Plus, it’s an excuse to go to the charming Italian delicatessen.

Once you have your roasted squash ready, the whole thing is on the table in five minutes. Promise.

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Fresh pasta with roasted squash, broccoli and gorgonzola

Serves 2.5, takes 5 minutes (if you have the roasted squash*)

main course / autumn / winter / nothing fancy / easy peasy / vegetarian / ready in a jiffy / on a budget / baby / date night

Tangy, sweet, satisfying, nutritious AND ready in moments. This is a perfect autumnal treat for one and all.

* Roasted squash - 1 medium

* Broccoli - 1 small

* Fresh tagliatelle - 250g

* Gorgonzola - a few generous tablespoons

Pop the squash in a hot oven for a few minutes to reheat it.

Chop the broccoli into florets. Cook in boiling water for a few minutes, until tender.

Meanwhile boil a large pan of water for the pasta, and cook until al dente. Salt the water unless you are cooking for a wee one.

Drain the broccoli. Return it to the pan and stir in a few spoonfuls of gorgonzola.

Drain the pasta. Return it to the pan, stir in the soft squash and a few more spoonfuls of gorgonzola.

Serve the broccoli on top of the squashy pasta. Chop into tiny bits for tiny mouths.

To roast the squash: cut in half lengthways and scoop out and discard the seeds. Place on a baking tray and roast at 200 degrees C (190 fan assisted) for about 30 minutes, or until very tender.

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