Pasta Bake and Mid August Lunch

I watched a lovely Italian film the other night; Mid August Lunch. It’s about a middle-aged man called Gianni, who lives in Rome with his old Mum. His only escape from home and the increasing debt into which he is sinking, is his frequent sessions at the local bar. During the celebration of the holiday of Ferragosto on 15 August (when everybody leaves town to have fun) opportunity knocks on Gianni’s door in the form of a series of unexpected houseguests. There is a very funny scene involving a large pasta bake. This inspired me to make my own using a Romanesco broccoli (or a Roman cauliflower), cherry tomatoes, onions and leeks. I steamed the veg then combined them with the cooked pasta in a white sauce and baked it all in the oven at 180°C for 30 mins until starting to brown. There are worse ways to spend a week night than watching a good film with a hearty plateful!

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