This is basically a messy version of lasagne. All the flavours combinations are there, they just are sloshed together in one mega pasta bake. I was craving an awesome pasta bake all day yesterday, as we had quite a heavy drinking weekend and as you are probably well aware, when I am hungover only a pasta bake will save me (or pizza or a mega cheese toastie – basically Italian heavy carbs). There was a group of seven of us that were staying with some friends and the majority voted for a Toby carvery for lunch, which most of you would think I was mad for saying, but I really was not feeling it. I even tried to order the vegetarian lasagne but much to my sadness it was ‘off the menu’. That being said, I still managed to scoff a plate full roast dinner and feel incredibly uncomfortable for the entire journey home because I ate too much, so I can’t have been that disappointed.
Although I was too tired and full to make this dish when I got home yesterday, it did not stop me dreaming about eating the World’s greatest pasta bake, and so I just had to share this with you today, as quite frankly it’s up there with the best!
Serves 2 – 3
For the bolognaise
– 325g mince
– 1 onion – finely chopped
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1 pepper – finely chopped
– 1 carrot – grated
– 3 cloved garlic – minced
– ½ tbsp oregano
– 2 tbsop Worcester sauce
– 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
– 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
– 2 tbsp tomato puree
– 1 tsp marmite
– Salt and pepper
For the Bachemel sauce
– ¾ pint milk
– 2 tbsp corn flour
– 1 vegetable stock cube – crumbled
– 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
– Salt and pepper
– 350g penne pasta
– Grated parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 180’C
To make the bolognaise, heat the oil in a deep saucepan and fry the onion for 5-7 minutes until it has softened.
Add the mince, and stir until browned
Add the garlic, chopped pepper, carrot and oregano; stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the Worcester sauce and the vinegar and leave to summer for 3-4 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed
Stir in the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil and then leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes until you are left with a rich bolognaise sauce. Season this to your taste
Once the bolognaise is bubbling away cook the pasta according to the pack instructions and make a start on your béchamel
It a non-stick sauce pan, heat the milk until it starts to steam.
Mix the corn flour with a little extra milk to form a paste and pour in two thirds of this into the steaming milk.
Crumble in the stock cube at the same time and continue to stir until the sauce thickens. If it has not thickened after 7-8 minutes then add a drop more corn flour until you have the consistency that you desire.
Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard.
Once all three elements are complete, mix them all together and transfer to a large oven proof dish.
Top with the grated parmesan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is nice and crispy.
Serve with salad and garlic bread if desired and enjoy 😀