Tuesday 1 May 2018

My Favourite Pasta Bakes

I have been somewhat obsessed with finding the perfect pasta bake lately, it being the perfect meal to feed a crowd on a Sunday, all prepped and ready to go into the oven just as your guests arrive so that all that is left to do after a couple of drinks is to pop it for a couple of minutes before enjoying the fruits of your labour! Below two recent favourites, one a little more traditionally Italian, with ready made gnocchi and a fresh tomato sauce at it's core, and one that is a little more experimental, fusing the classic pasta bake with Mexican flavours which may sound odd but turned pretty darn tasty!

Hope you try at least one of them and let me know what you think! Both have been firmly added to my recipe repertoire!!


SERVES 3-4 (more like 3)
· 500g store-bought gnocchi 
· 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
· 2 thinly sliced shallots 
· 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced 
· 1 tablespoon tomato paste 
· 1/2 tsp. salt 
· 1/2 tsp. black pepper 
· 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg 
· 2 cups fresh cherry tomatoes 
· 1 tin crushed tomatoes 
· 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 
· 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped 
· 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped 
· 1 tablespoon heavy cream 
· 240g fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into pieces
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees celsius. 
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While the water is coming to a boil, make the sauce. Add the gnocchi and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced shallots and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste, salt, black pepper and nutmeg, cooking for about 30 seconds more. Add the cherry tomatoes, tomato sauce and balsamic vinegar. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5-7 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat. Stir in the fresh herbs, heavy cream and the cooked gnocchi.
  4. Transfer about half of the gnocchi/tomato mixture to your prepared oven safe dish. Top with about half of the torn mozzarella cheese. Then add the remaining gnocchi/tomato mixture and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Transfer the dish to your pre-heated oven and cook for 10 minutes. 
  5. Remove the baked gnocchi from your oven and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Top with additional fresh herbs, if desired. 
Best served with a refreshing Aperol Spritz of course!


500g pasta (I used Barillag gluten free fusilli)
2 jars of ready made enchilada sauce (El Paso does a great one)
1 can of refried beans
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 cup of vegetable broth
1 big tin of sweetcorn
3/4 can of black beans (drained + rinsed)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
120g grated cheese (I used cheddar)
Sour Cream
Fresh coriander and chopped spring onion
Chopped Tomato
Finely Diced JalapeƱo

Serve with lime wedges for a burst of citrus flavour and freshly made guacamole on the side!
  1. Preheat oven too 175 degrees celsius. 
  2. To make the sauce combine your enchilada sauce and refried beans in a large saucepan and whisk together to mix well. This unsuspecting combo amps up the flavor, adds luscious thickness, and boosts the protein/fiber content of your zest red enchilada sauce.
  3. Add crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, and chickapea pasta.
  4. Bring to a boil, then add corn and black beans (as much as you'd like!) and season with chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  5. Cover and reduce heat to low/simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer to to glass baking dish and cook your pasta. Drain your pasta and mix everything together in the baking dish.
  7. Sprinkle cheese on top and transfer everyything to the oven for about 10 minutes or until hot and melty! 
  8. Top with all your favourite toppings and enjoy! 

1 comment:

Manisha said...

I love Pasta. In India we have started Pasta into our kitchen also.

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