I feel like I’m giving away family secrets here …. Sorry Mum!
When my brother and I were little, if Mum and Dad were going out and we were having a babysitter come over (which wasn’t often I should add!) we’d always have an ‘easy meal’ … read; Fish fingers or Cheesey tomato pasta.
Cheesey Tomato pasta was my favourite …. a bowl of spaghetti with a tin of condensed tomato soup stirred through it and a handful of cheese sprinkled over the top so that it would melt as you stirred it …. kid heaven!
Well, these days, our family diet doesn’t look much like that but there are still times when an ‘easy meal’ is required …. ‘cheesey ‘mato pasta’ as it has become known in our house, is a hands down winner. Inhaled every time. Full tummies and a happy, easy dinner time – there’s a lot to be said for that!!
- 1 small butternut pumpkin (roughly 800g before peeling and seeding)
- Large zucchini
- 1 tin chick peas (kidney beans and butter beans work well too)
- 100ml coconut cream (I like the Aayam brand)*
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 heaped tbsp of my cheesey sprinkles **
- Optional: a little hot water
- Pasta of choice
*We also swap out the coconut cream for 2 tbsp of tahini
**If you haven’t made the cheesey sprinkles you can replace it with 4tbsp nutritional yeast and 2 tbsp hemp seeds
Set a big pot of slightly salted water to boil for your pasta of choice (we use a GF variety).
Peel and dice the pumpkin, then steam until soft – usually a few minutes in the microwave when this kind of dinner is required.
Dice and steam the zucchini in the last couple of minutes with the pumpkin (peel it first if your little people are detectives for any green ‘bits’!)
Place the steamed veg and chick peas with the extra water (if necessary), into your blender/processor/bullet/thermal cooker together with the tomato paste and coconut cream/tahini and blend until smooth (Start on speed 4 and work up to speed 6, for 10 seconds, then scrape down and repeat). Add in cheesey sprinkles and blend again (speed 6, 8 secs)
Cook and drain your pasta, then return to the saucepan and pour over the sauce.
Top with a little addition cheese of choice if you like.
Top with some crispy bacon if you wish – or fried mushrooms to keep it vegan.
This makes enough sauce for about 3 dinners, just freeze the leftovers.
You can use this for the sauce in pasta bakes or even double it for shared suppers (and Sunday School dinners in our case!). Add in extra veggies if you like, or throw in some left over bbq chook or sausages.