Pasta Bake is an easy and cheap dish to make that all the family will enjoy and you can adapt and add extra ingredients to suit your tastes.
It’s also a meal I make if I know the family might be eating at different times. I get it ready for when my son comes home from school so he can have some as soon as he gets in, but if my husband isn’t home until late it’s there ready to be heated up!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- oregano, basil and salt and pepper to your liking
- 100g penne pasta or other shaped pasta if you prefer
- 50g Cheddar grated. Alternatively ‘pizza’ cheese also makes a great topping and is usually a mix of Cheddar and Mozarella
Heat the oil in a medium pan and fry the onion for 5 mins until softened and lightly golden add the garlic and cook for a further few minutes.
Stir in the chopped tomatoes and herbs also add salt and pepper to your liking. It’s also great to add some chilli powder or chopped fresh chilli if you like. Let the tomato sauce mix simmer for about 15/20 mins.
You can also use this sauce as a base for bolognese or lasagne and if you increase the ingredients and make a large batch you could freeze some to save time in the future. One of the main benefits to making your own as opposed to using a jar is you cut down on the amount of salt and sugar found in pre-made tomato pasta sauces.
In another sauce pan cook the pasta according to pack instructions, once cooked, drain and mix with the tomato sauce.
Transfer mixture to an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with the grated cheese. Place in a pre-heated oven or under the grill until the cheese has melted.
Serve with garlic bread or a green salad.
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