Being scared is my least favourite feeling. It genuinely baffles me that people go to the cinema and pay for the privilege of being scared by a horror film – who wants to feel terrified? It’s not only that I hate gore (though I had to give up on Game of Thrones after only two episodes because I couldn’t take any more beheadings), but also the suspense of just waiting for something that’s going to make me jump. It was when I was a teenager that I went off Halloween, at that age where you have to stop trick-or-treating and start watching 18-rated horror films at sleepovers instead. Where’s the fun in that?
In the interest of bringing some childlike innocence back to proceedings, here is a meal that has a hint of horror, but even I can handle it. This glorified (or gorified, if you will) take on pasta and sauce is perfect for getting in the mood for Halloween fun (fun, not frights). GoodFood suggested serving it to children; I suggest also serving it to scaredy-cats like me.
Serves 3-4, from BBC GoodFood
100g cherry tomatoes
150g pack mini mozzarella balls, drained
handful black olives
400g green tagliatelle
350g jar tomato-based pasta sauce
4 tbsp pesto
1. Halve the cherry tomatoes and scoop out the seeds inside.
2. Halve a ball of mozzarella and stuff it inside the tomato half to make a sphere.
3. Chop the olives into small pieces. Put a small black speck in the middle of each ‘eye’.
4. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions.
5. Warm the sauce through in a separate pan.
6. Drain the pasta and stir through the pesto.
7. Divide the pasta between serving dishes, top with a dollop of sauce and put the eyes on top. Happy Halloween!