Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Tomato and Vegetable Pasta Bake

This is another quick and easy dinner that's ideal for mid-week when time is precious.

You can use an array of vegetables according to what you have in stock but here I have used peppers and courgettes for a colourful combination.

It's a great family meal especially when served with a side salad or some steamed vegetables such as asparagus and acts as a great vegetarian dish for Meat Free Monday or any other day you feel like omitting meat.

Luckily Bridget is a great eater but if you have vegetable-dodgers in the family, you could very easily disguise the peppers by grating them into the sauce instead too.

I add a little smoky heat by a small amount of paprika, but you can adjust this according to your own or your family's taste buds.

The below serves four, with a side salad.

Tomato and Vegetable Pasta Bake

Here's how:
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 courgette
  • 3 tomatoes or a carton of cherry tomatoes (could also use 1 tin)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 250g penne
  • 50g mozzarella
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Firstly pre-heat the oven to 180 and add the olive oil to a non-stick sauce pan and place on a low heat.

Now finely dice the onion and mince the garlic and add to the pan as the base of the sauce.

Dice the courgette, peppers and tomatoes and once the onion and garlic have softened, add to the pan.

Add a pinch of salt, black pepper, the tomato puree and paprika and cook for a further 15 minutes until reduced down to a thin sauce.

Meanwhile cook your pasta accordingly, (I always add a pinch of salt) and before draining take a tablespoon of the cooking water and add to the sauce to loosen and help coat the pasta.

Now drain and add the pasta to the sauce pot and stir well to ensure each pasta piece is covered.

Now transfer the pasta to an oven proof dish and tear over the mozzarella.

Now place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and you have a golden brown topping. Enjoy!

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