Butternut Squash with Gnocchi

Pasta with more starchy goodness? Plus cheese? May I have seconds…?

Round the blogosphere, I’ve declared my love of pasta, in all its shapes and sizes, sauces and preparations. It’s that highschool crush you never got over, that novelty jumper you lovingly wear come wintertime, those warm fuzzies you get when you meet up with your bestie. Pasta gives me all the feels. In a good way. Course.

Winter time pasta offers winter veg combos which give me energy and keep the sweet tooth (mostly) at bay. Today’s concoction was a spin on the classic flavours of fresh pasta pumpkin filled. Chef Angela Hartnett goes through the process step by step in this video. Watch her hands carefully as she shapes the pasta. Italian nonne would be proud.

As for today’s lunch, here’s what I did. Taking a rough quarter of a roasted butternut squash, I warmed it though on a pan. It had enough oil from the roasting but add a little oil or butter if needs be. When the squash is a few minutes away from being toasty, I emptied a half full kettle of hot water into a pot, brought it up to the boil, then added the gnocchi, about 200g (big portions here, thank you very much). When the squash is ready, I turn off the heat, seasoned, added nutmeg, followed by several heaped teaspoons of crème fraîche. Using a slotted spoon, I transferred the gnocchi directly from pot to pan, using a little of the liquid to loosen the crème fraîche and squash mixture. Served with fistful of parmesan, in my new favourite bowl and eaten in pyjamas.




Photo feature – Castelluccio lentils

Lentils! Recipes to follow later on in the week.

Recipe suggestions for lovely lentils? Tell me in the comments.




Quick Tuna and Tomato Pasta

I really didn’t want to do anything except look after myself today. So I did just that. And it felt good. 🙂

Part of self-care for me is looking after what I eat. Good food gets me through the day the way coffee powers people through mornings. Good food will make a crappy day better, a bad mood lighter, a crampy Emma nicer!

Part of looking after numero uno was not doing loads. Instead of going to the shops again, I just made do with what I had left in the cupboard and fridge. A quick pasta that takes 15 minutes, 2 tins, half a bag of pasta and a couple teaspoons of dried herbs and I’m smiling in no time.


Quick Tuna and Tomato Pasta

1 tin of tuna in oil (olive oil, if you can get it)

500g tinned plum tomatoes

250g short dried pasta

1 level teaspoon each of thyme, oregano and parsley

salt and pepper to taste


Add the tuna and the oil to a pan, heat it through, then add the tomatoes and herbs. Let the sauce bubble away on a medium heat while the pasta is cooking.

Boil some water for the pasta, add some salt, and cook according to packet instructions. Drain but keep some of the liquid for the sauce.

If the sauce is a little on the thick side, add some of the pasta liquid. Then add the pasta and mix through.

Serve in big bowls with loads of black pepper, and goes well with wolly jumpers and slippers.



Photo feature – Rio Mare tuna


Tuna in olive oil takes me back to picnic lunches with friends on a cool, sunny, autumnal afternoon in Italy. I was in university at the time, on a year abroad, brushing up on my Italian, when I got the chance to discover all these Italian culinary delights.

Luckily, a great shop stocks this tuna back home. Little Italy in Dublin, Ireland, stocks this tuna, and so much more. I’ve been known to spend a pretty penny here, picking up all sorts of pasta, biscuits, cheeses, sliced meats, tins and jars of lovely veg, chocolate and the all important coffee!

A particular favourite of mine, and my family, is the Rio Mare tuna in olive oil. There’s a special one with herbs and spices too for pasta, as well as tuna in tomato sauce with peas or beans, all great for speedy lunches. Just add some bread and a green salad. Il pranzo è pronto.

Rio mare 2


Stelline in brodo, with courgette and corn


It’s September already and I’ve neglected this lovely blog. Life’s swept me away again with all those responsibilities. Che serà, serà!

Quick meals have helped me navigate life’s choppy waters. I’ve gone back to some very familiar flavours and comforting kiddie-style recipes. None of that fancy, specially selected nonsense, just good, old, reliable recipes that satisfy in an instant. The only thing that’d improve a comfy dinner like that would be a hug from a teddy bear, but I digress…

I made stelline in brodo again, recipe from an earlier blog post here, but this time with grated courgette and corn, to give it some added flavour and colour, topped it all with grated cheese and lots of black pepper. Just what I needed.


Stuffed Courgette with Whole Wheat Couscous

In a spectacularly productive ‘lazy Sunday’ I made a whole bunch of things from the odds and ends around the kitchen, one of which I’m most proud is this one – stuffed courgette, with whole wheat couscous, garlic, Parmesan and fresh herbs. Doesn’t it just look lovely! I’ll get these roundy courgettes again, even if it’s just for this kind of dish, because it looks good, because I’m eating with my eyes just as much as my stomach.

Stuffed c 1

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