On the last Bank Holiday Monday, I took the kids to The Burrell where we met up with friends to take part in a decathlon. The kids had great fun and then we all piled back to mine for food. I like to make pasta fresh but I decided to be prepared as I didn't want to come back and spend an hour cooking plus I knew the kids would be champing at the bit for their tea! I made in advance a large lasagna, a large Macaroni Cheese and I made the linguine with lemon and feta fresh. I prepared a fresh loaf by slicing it about a third of the way down and filling it with garlic butter. I bought a garlic pizza and added some fresh rosemary and sea salt before cooking it. There were 6 adults and 7 kids.
When I came home, I put the oven on and quickly prepared some antipasti and olives plus a small round of Camembert. I didn't put out bread because there was a lot of food and bread for the main course and I didn't want anyone filling up. The children who didn't want antipasti got stuck into a large bowl of Doritos!
The pre-cooked lasagna was placed in the oven and 25 minutes later, the macaroni was put in. Then, I cooked the linguine. The lasagna was brought out to the table first and the bread was put in its place in the oven. I prepared some cucumber, tomatoes and yellow pepper for the kids as an accompaniment and tomatoes with pesto as an accompaniment for the adults.
The food went down a treat and afterwards we had home-made lemon cupcakes and lemon cake.
I'd definitely do this again as it was suitable for everyone and perfect for a 6pm tea. Next time however, I would not pre-cook the lasagna; I'd prepare it all as usual in the dish but then cover it in clingfilm and put in fridge; the pasta becomes a bit too hard and slightly burnt round the edges if pre-cooked in a large dish. The macaroni cheese was fine but next time I'd prepare the cheese sauce but not cook the pasta until we were ready to eat it. The heat distribution, possibly just in my crappy oven although it is fan assisted, meant that I had to rescue the dish before it started to brown but the middle was only warm and not yet hot.
Lemon cake recipes to follow.