Cherry Tomato and Spinach Pasta Bake

The weather has started to get a little colder this week and the thought of salad for dinner is starting to become less and less appealing. There have been two boxes of cherry tomatoes in our fridge this week and they have been completely untouched! Usually a family favourite, especially in the summer months, accompanying salads and sandwiches, these little tomatoes have now been disregarded in favour of other, warmer, more comforting foods!

I hate to throw any food away, and rather than sit and eat two punnets by myself, I thought the best thing to do might be to cook them into something lovely!

 

Cherry Tomato and Spinach Pasta Bake

 

Ingredients – Serves 8

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed – less if you’re not keen on garlic
  • 2 punnets of cherry tomatoes (approx 600g) chopped in half – or if you are using things up and you don’t have enough cherry tomatoes, top up with regular tomatoes or tinned tomatoes
  • oregano, basil and salt and pepper to your liking, if you want to spice it up a little add some chilli flakes
  • 500g penne pasta or other shaped pasta if you prefer.
  • 200g spinach
  • 100g Cheddar grated. Alternatively ‘pizza’ cheese also makes a great topping and is usually a mix of Cheddar and Mozarella
  • 1 Knorr Vegetable Stock Pot – these are my favourite! But, you can of course use other stock cubes :)

 

Method

Heat the oil in a medium pan and fry the onion for 5 mins until starting to soften and then add garlic and cook for a further few minutes. Add the stock cube and a little boiling water from the kettle, not too much as there will be plenty liquid from the tomatoes.

Stir in the chopped tomatoes and herbs also add salt and pepper to your liking. It’s also great to add some dried chilli flakes 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 cherry 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, this should only take 10-15 minutes.

Serve with garlic bread.

Enjoy!

 

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Comments

  1. Emma Green says:

    Yum, we make something similar but add chicken, a great way to use leftovers.

  2. Yum all of my favorite ingredients in one place. Feel free to link up to our Meatless Monday recipes anytime-would love to have you!