I've been enjoying getting Christopher's input on ideas regarding what to have for dinner lately. He's come up with some pretty sensible suggestions too, most of the time, so as well as letting him decide what he fancies, it allows me to (subtly, I hope) help him learn to make good choices about putting a meal together; from both a gustatory and a nutritional point of view.
Yesterday, a friend and I took our children over to the Teifi Mania soft-play centre in Cardigan , for lunch and some seriously rambunctious playtime. This gave us a chance for coffee and a gossip while the children were burning off some of that excess weekend energy, knowing that they'd all be both starving for supper, and tired for bedtime when we got home.
On the way home in the car, I asked Chris what he fancied for supper. He immediately replied "pasta!" and then, thinking for a moment, added that he wanted it "with MILLIONS of cheese..."
I actually decided that, just maybe, four cheeses would be enough, so, taking inspiration from the flavours of a Quattro Formaggio pizza, I used it as a starting point for a pasta bake, which we ate with gusto, and some lettuce cut from the garden.
Four-Cheese Pasta Bake
These are the cheeses that I had, but you could easily substitute a different blue cheese and a different hard cheese, perhaps Cheddar, for the Double Gloucester.
500g dried pasta shapes
1 pint milk
75g Danish Blue cheese, diced
2 x balls mozzarella, diced
80g Double Gloucester, grated
50g Parmesan, grated
Put the pasta on to cook. Meanwhile, put the butter, cornflour and milk into a sucepan and brting to the boil, whisking continously, and simmer until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the blue cheese and 2 tablespoons of water from the pasta pan. Drain the pasta. Stir the blue cheese sauce and the mozzarella pieces through it, then transfer it to an ovenproof dish. Top with the grated Double Gloucester and Parmesan, then bake in a 180°c oven for 15 minutes or so, until the cheesy surface is melted and bubbling, but only just tinged with brown.
There was enough, with salad, for all four of us for a really filling and enjoyable dinner, and enough left over to reheat for the children's (and possibly my) lunch, later today.