Pasta Please #1 - Cheese


It's perfect when:

  • we want to share a meal with friends
  • we need a quick after work meal
  • we want to use up vegetables
  • we want to be frugal
  • we need some comfort food
So I thought with the demise of the ever popular Presto Pasta Nights, we really needed something to take it's place and so I give you Pasta Please.

Each month a different host will set a pasta challenge for us and provide a linky so we can add out pasta dishes. This month the theme is cheese and in line with this blog, the entries are suitable for vegetarians. Each month this will change depending on the host. You can keep up with all the hosts and challenges here.

Let's have a look at the entries!

Jen obviously knows the way to my heart. Pasta and mushrooms coated in a luxurious cheese sauce, then  baked until crisp. Oh my yes!

What a colourful pasta dish Cate. I love it and such a great combination of flavours. Fennel, asparagus, broad beans, pattypan squash, fresh herbs, ricotta and parmesan.

This sumptuous pasta bake is brought to us by Sarah of Maison Cupcake fame. As if her time isn't stretched enough with her blog, family, cookbook writing and everything else she fits it, she has also started a new blog to feature family recipes. I'm glad she did, this looks droolworthy!

Now, I don't know why, but I have added butternut squash to a pasta dish. I can see I am missing out. This cheesy pasta bake from Helen looks like the perfect comfort food and I bet the sweetness of the butternut squash is a lovely contrast to the cheese.

4. Pasta with Walnuts, Blue Cheese and Chives
Shades of Vanilla

This is my kind of pasta dish. Simple, but packed with flavour. Mind you I would be eating it on my own now my hubby is vegan and Cooper doesn't particularly like blue cheese. I think I would be happy not having to share!

5. Cheesy Pasta Bake
Farmersgirl Kitchen

Janice was on a bit of a frugal drive when she made this pasta bake. Instead of the bog standard pasta often used in bakes, Janice used some tagliatelle nests. Butternut squash, chickpeas, pasta, Philadelphia and cheddar. You did really well from your store cupboard and fridge forage Janice!

6. Triple Spaghetti with Sesame Oil, Cinnamon and Cocos
Food with a View

What struck me first about this dish was the beautiful photography, but actually it is a really original dish. A triple spaghetti of longs strands of Çeçil peyniri cheese, long spaghetti strips of carrot and black rice noodles. Finished off with sesame oil, cinnamon, chillies, physalis and cocos rasps (not sure what these are).


 7. Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni with Hidden Veggies Tommies Sauce
Chez Foti

This is another frugal dish born of what was found in cupboard, fridge and freezer. A great family dish if you ask me. And the hidden veggies..... well they are celery, carrot, pumpkin & pepper, but shhhhhhhh don't tell anyone, it's a secret!

8. Tagliatelle with Cherry Tomatoes, Artichoke Hearts, Feta and Rocket
Elizabeth's Kitchen

Some of my favourite ingredients in this one. Artichokes, which I love, but I am afraid I always get out of a jar, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes and rocket. I don't know if I should say poor Elizabeth or not. None of her family would enjoy this dish (they are really missing out), but then that could be a good thing as it means she can enjoy it all by herself.

9. Gemelli Pasta Vegetariana Al Forno
Cooking Around The World

And we have another blogger rummaging around their store cupboard to find some ingredients for their pasta dish. I think this is a common theme in January. It is a long time until that pay at the end of January after being paid early in December. *sigh* Obviously it does inspire a bit of creativity. Another gorgeous dish!

10. Easy Colourful Pasta Bake with Mascarpone Cheese
Part Time Chef

Another pasta bake, this time with mascarpone cheese as the sauce. A great tip for a quick and velvety pasta sauce when you are short of time. This one is topped of with peas and sweetcorn and they look very appealing nestled on top there. Another great time saver too.

11. Pesto Pasta with Parmesan
Lavender and Lovage

Karen is following the same 5:2 Diet that I follow. If you haven't heard of it, we basically eat normally for 5 days of the week, then eat under 500 calories for the other 2 days. It's really easy to follow and good for health reasons as well as losing weight. As you can see from Karen's pasta dish, you don't have to miss out when you are on a fast day. It's a slurpingly tasty dish of pasta coated in homemade pesto and topped with parmesan. One of my own personal favourites and only 310 calories per serving.

12. Messicani with Spinach and Cheese Sauce
Tinned Tomatoes

This is my entry for this month's challenge and I am ashamed to say I didn't have a chance to make a dish for it, so this one is from my archives. I know you will forgive me when I tell you how amazingly scrumptious it is! Homemade cheese sauce made with lots of lovely mature cheddar and parmesan, speckled with spinach. It is one of my all time favourites and I hope you will enjoy it too.

13.  Handmade Garganelli with Crushed Avocado and Parmesan

Now adding crushed avocado and parmesan (Simona didn't specify as she realises Parmesan isn't suitable for veggies, but you can buy veggie style parmesan, so lets just say parmesan) may seem simple, but Simona did a lot of research and made her own garganelli. I am so impressed, it looks amazing. Loved her gnocchi board too. One smart piece of kit! Thanks Simona.

14. Chocolate Orange Lasagne

I left this dish for last, so we could have it for dessert. Yes, I said dessert.  My good friend and fellow Clandestine caker, Stuart, came up with this ingenious pasta dish including cheese. The cheese he use in this sweet delight is ricotta cheese, accompanied by lasagne sheets, chocolate orange cocoa powder, white chocolate, pistachio nuts and white chocolate blossoms. Mmmmmm!

Here ends the first ever edition of Pasta Please.
Next month the new challenge with be set by Lisa over at We Don't Eat Anything With A Face. Lisa is also vegetarian, so next month's challenge will  be vegetarian again. Head over to Lisa's blog to find out what the challenge is. If you would like to host a future Pasta Please challenge, then do get in touch.

Thank you to everyone who entered and long live Pasta Please!
R.I.P Presto Pasta Nights.


  1. Great challenge Jac, sooo much pasta!

    1. Thanks Janice and yes, but that can only be a good thing. Thanks for contributing :)

  2. It all looks delicious Jacqueline. In keeping with the vegetarian and cheese theme I discovered a dish in Italy in the hamlet of Nerano...Spaghetti con Zucchini that is made with Provolone del Monaco.

    1. Oh, that sounds good Val, you will have to post it!

  3. Ackkkkk! I really meant to make a cheesy pasta for you. Somehow the month whizzed by and between the broken wrist and a little bit of travelling, no pasta here. That said, the roundup is glorious! Thanks for carrying on the tradition.

    1. Hi Ruth, that is ok, you must really be struggling with your wrist. So painful! Thanks for getting behind the new challenge and for many years of pleasurable reading with Presto Pasta Nights.

  4. There's some great recipe ideas in this round up. They all look so tempting!

  5. Great round up! So many cheesy inspirations here :)

  6. What a fab round up of cheesy pasta dishes!

    1. Hi Lisa, it is. I am looking forward to next month's roundup too. Thanks for hosting Lisa.

  7. oh i must have been on another planet last month... great challenge and fab round-up!... I have a few pasta dishes lined up this month so I will be entering!

    1. Never mind Dom, there is always next month and the theme for February is Peppers.

  8. FABULOUS Jac and so many inspired entries too! LOVELY round-up! Karen

  9. What a great round-up. That are a lot of gorgeous pasta dishes ... you can survive a whole month with this. Luvly!

    1. You truly could do that very happily Christian.

  10. Gorgeous cheese post, Jac. Especially loving Sarah 'Maison Cupcake's' one- blue cheese, butternut squash AND broccoli ,mmm. And, clever Cakey Boi Stuart's chocolate one -tangential and fabulous.

    1. I am going to try a few of these. It will be deciding which one to try first though.

  11. Some great and new ideas here Jac, pasta is certainly versatile.

  12. great round up - and dessert too! Lots of yummy pasta bakes and blue cheese. I was all excited with a pasta dish for the event but I forgot there was a theme and I didn't have any cheese in it and my other pasta dish this month just had some parmesan on top and I just referred to it in passing. Not my month. Am pleased you are doing the event so will try and join in some time!

    1. Oh darn, that is typical, isn't it? Oh well I look forward to entries from you in the future Johanna.

  13. Cheese and pasta - a marriage made in heaven!

  14. What a great collection of vegetarian pasta recipes!
    I guess I made a typical not-native-speaker mistake in my recipe. You ask what cocos rasps are: I should have written coconut flakes instead :-). Sorry for that!

    1. Haha, yes, I was totally stumped. Thanks for the translation :)

  15. I am so glad to see that many people contributed to the first edition of the event. And what a nice collection of recipes! Thank you so much, Jacqueline, for creating the event and for the elegant roundup.


I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x

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