That's what it looked like on my plate. This is my favourite plate

That’s what it looked like on my plate. This is my favourite plate

Today my worst fears were realised.

I was in the middle of prepping our evening meal this afternoon when Jennee sent me a message stating that she was heading home with two extra kids in tow (that makes 4 for anyone who’s not really good at maths) and she hoped it was cool that they were having a sleep-over.

“My nightly cooking detail is hard enough with two kids,” self said. “What are you doing surprising me with another two?”

That’s not even a surprise anyway. A surprise is something like chocolates under my pillow, a freshly mowed lawn when I return from a hard days work, or an extra lady in my bed when I retire for the evening.

“What the hell am I doing?” I thought to self. “What if these kids don’t like the stuff I’m cooking?”

“Fuck it. They can eat it anyway,” self said in an obscure act of defiance… I really think I spend too much time with self occasionally…

Anyhow, this is what I made…

Mix it all up (and sing a little song while you do it)

Mix it all up (and sing a little song while you do it)

Put the cheese on top and then put it in the oven

Put the cheese on top and then put it in the oven

Bake that bad boy until it is golden brown and beckoning to you like your next smack hit...

Bake that bad boy until it is golden brown and beckoning to you like your next smack hit…

Yeah I'm having some

Yeah I’m having some

Because there were so many of us at the table Obi made name tags so we would remember who is who. There's mine in the top left

Because there were so many of us at the table Obi made name tags so we would remember who is who. There’s mine in the top left

Baked pasta with cannellini beans, tomato and vegetables

250g pasta shells/penne/macaroni, cooked (the packet should help you out here)
1 onion, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped (small to get it past the kids)
2 bunches of broccolini, chopped (small like the zucchini)
3 anchovies
1 tablespoon capers
1x 400g tin cannellini beans
1x 700g bottle tomato passata
2 cups cheddar or whatever cheese, grated
½ cup parmesan or pecorino cheese, grated
• Sauté onion, zucchini and anchovies until softened
• Mix everything except cheeses together, then chuck that into a baking dish that is big enough to fit it (a baking dish that is not big enough to fit is only going to cause a mess followed by your wife getting very upset followed by an argument followed by the end of your evening. Don’t do it)
• Bake at 200C for half an hour or until the cheesey crust is bubbling like the communal bath at the local homeless shelter
• Eat it
• MAKE the kids eat it
• Smile

… And (true story) they all ate it. Which is kind of lucky because if they didn’t I would’ve eaten them. But they all loved it, which was the part that surprised me a little. One bowl here, two there, and Obi was back for thirds! I am a winner tonight!