one dish speedy pasta bake

This meal is definitely one of our favourite go-to recipes, especially when the nights are getting darker earlier and you just need a bit of comfort food. It’s so easy and you will definitely have all of these ingredients in your cupboard and fridge, and there’s nothing unusual in it. I prefer it with a filled pasta – spinach & ricotta is a good one – but have used ordinary pasta if there’s no filled to hand. Although it can obviously be fancied up with other ingredients, this basic one is done in no time and only uses up one oven proof pan. That’s a win, for me!

Chop a few garlic gloves and cook on the hob, in olive oil. Then the tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes are better here – and for extra flavour you could roast them first, in lots of olive oil, salt & pepper and chilli flakes, then mash them into a pulp as the basis for your sauce. Otherwise, just chop them up, add some water or wine – I don’t think it matters whether it’s red or white, just whatever’s open and season with salt, pepper and chilli flakes for a bit of a kick, and add to the garlic. The pasta goes in now – make sure there’s sufficient liquid for it to start to cook, and so that it doesn’t dry out. Not too much though, as the pasta will be swimming in the sauce and it’ll take forever to reduce. Give the pasta about five minutes to simmer, then sprinkle the mixture with cheese. Parmesan is an obvious choice, but we love extra mature cheddar, as it burns beautifully and is wonderfully tangy. Sprinkled with a bit of parmesan, of course, because you can never have enough cheese.

Cook, in the oven proof pan, in the oven, heated up to 180°C  for about thirty minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and you know the pasta is cooked through, and then serve. Crusty bread and a bottle of wine works perfectly with this super tasty, super easy pasta dish.

ingredients you could add :

  • red lentils to the sauce to make it thicker
  • chopped olives
  • canned tuna – we get smoked tuna from Lidl (from the Greek range when it’s stocked) and it’s so tasty
  • anchovies
  • mushrooms
  • peppers
  • onions
  • halloumi cheese instead of parmesan
  • basically, anything you fancy and have to hand…
Published on 2nd November 2023