Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 617

34 22 SEPTEMBER 2022 Food&Drink September and October aremy favourite months. They’re about new beginnings and possibilities, as well as amore settled way of life. It’s also the start of a new school year, which can be bittersweet and takes a while to get used to. If you’re cooking for a family, it takes September to ease everyone into a newway of eating. You have to steer your children gently away from laid-back suppers at haphazard times towards regular meals. Near the end of September, you start to reach for pasta and pulses again for easy, inexpensive food that will fill everyone and provide comfort. I always think of my eldest son hunched hungrily over his plate, enjoying his food toomuch to say anything, except for amumbled “Mm, this is great.” I’m straight into September with this meal. The words ‘pasta and lentils’ really can’t convey how good themain dish is. When I make it, the children always say: “Are you sure there isn’t anymeat in this?” It’s unlike other pasta dishes, as the pasta is cooked in the sauce and you can use di erent shapes as long as they’re all roughly the same size. You also want to stir the pasta so that it releases starch to thicken the tomato and lentil sauce. It’s the kind of food that makes you accept that summer has fizzled out. I grew up with puddings after supper only on certain nights, and today I make them at weekends. But a cake, particularly one as simple tomake as this, might be a good way to ease into autumn. If you feel it’s toomuch, keep the recipe for the weekend. DianaHenry is The Sunday Telegraph’s food writer. @dianahenryfood Food for sharing with Diana Henry