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Day 27: Pumpkin- the new cheese sauce

January 27, 2007

The Pumpkin Pasta with Sausage and Wild Mushrooms wasn’t tremendously photogenic, but it was tangy, creamy, spicy and Christmassy all at once. The seasonal element came from the cinnamon and nutmeg, rather than the pumpkin. The pumpkin blended with the sausage, mushrooms, white wine, stock and cream to create a great pasta sauce. Once the nutmeg and cinnamon were added, the balance of flavours became intriguing; complicated but well balanced. We had never considered using pureed vegetables to thicken a basic sauce before we embarked on this project. Between this and the butternut squash macaroni cheese, we may have adopted a whole new approach to wholesome sauce-making.

About 10 months ago, Baby A started to eat solid food. We’d either spend the time and cook and purée fruit and veg, or we’d just spend the money and buy the individual baby food servings. A few weeks in, I realised that little pots of unsweetened apple sauce were cheaper than baby apple purée, and much easier than making your own. If we ever have another baby, they will be fed on tins of pumpkin puree. It’s cheap, looks and tastes like all baby food, and one tin could feed a baby for a week. Tomorrow we’ll see if the 15 month old can be tempted to regress for the sake of cheap and cheery nutrition.

Speaking of tomorrow, this meal will be reworked into a vegetarian version, Pasta with Spinach, Mushrooms, Pumpkin and Hazelnuts. The following day we get a beef burger and a chicken burger. Obviously we need to compensate for the meat-free evening.

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