Sunday, 5 June 2011

Roast Vegetable and Pasta Bake

If you happen to go out for a pub lunch or to any High Street chain restaurant there is always pasta and salad on the menu, usually at an exorbitant price! I mean…how much does a cupful of pasta and a few veg cost, for crying out loud! Do restaurateurs think we haven't noticed the outrageous markup? 

In fact, pasta and salad is a meal that I rarely cook – when we sat down to eat tonight the husband said “We haven’t had a pasta bake for ages”, which is quite true and it’ll probably be a while before we have another one. With the exception of the lasagne we had last week at my sister’s it’s at least a couple of months since I had a pasta meal of any description. I’d almost forgotten what to do!

Oh, I must mention the salad leaves were our first from the garden this year; I was so chuffed, hopefully they’re the first of many.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 small aubergine, chopped into 2cm chunks
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped into large pieces
1 red onion, peeled and cut into eighths through the root
125g chestnut mushrooms, halved
2 cloves garlic, crushed
100g penne
250ml passata
2 or 3 sprigs of basil, chopped
1 slice of wholemeal bread made into breadcrumbs
100g grated mature cheddar

Put all the prepared vegetables into a large roasting tin that will allow them to be cooked in a single layer. Add the crushed garlic, drizzle over the olive oil and use your hands to mix so the veg are coated in the oil. Roast at 200C for 25 mins.

Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil and parcook the penne for 5 minutes. Drain and return to the pan, adding the passata and basil; mix well then add the roast vegetables, mixing carefully or the veg will break up.

Tip the whole lot into a deep baking dish and sprinkle with the combined cheddar and breadcrumbs then drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake at 200C for 15-20 minutes until the cheese and breadcrumbs have formed a lovely golden crust.

Serve with a leafy salad.

Serves 2

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