For many, pasta is a staple food and the beauty of it, is that it’s a quick and easy food to prepare. When it’s not dressed up with loads of sauce one of my many guilty pleasures is pasta with some black pepper and cheese sprinkled on.
For many people in the UK a pasta bake is a simple dish that makes you smile – quite often people make it from the massive range of sauces that are available in the shops. If you love food and cooking, then there is nothing better than making a sauce yourself . What is even better than that, is using home grown vegetable.
Routing through mine and my parents garden at this time of year is great. You have a massive choice of fresh vegetables at your finger tips and there is just something about the taste of homegrown veg that beats anything bought from a supermarket. Out of the garden today I have a fresh courgette and a red pepper. Racking my brains I wanted to not show off these veg, but incorporate them to make a main meal.
In the fridge I have some cheese left over from making the hot n spicy cheese scones. I knew that this would be the perfect cheese to top the dish as it has a lovely warmth of heat from the chili. With each bite of the dish, you get a gentle warming sensation from the cheese, but you can also taste all the other ingredients that are in the dish.
You may think that once you have grated the cheese that it does not look very much. My advise is to not over use this cheese. If you do the heat will no longer be moderate and will be much hotter. The cheese is to flavour the dish and give it some oomph and not to overwhelm your taste buds.
If you are not too keen on spice then use a cheddar instead or why don’t you use both cheddar and the hot n spicy cheese to take away some of the heat.
This is a nice and easy dish to make. The preparation does not take too long and while it is baking in the oven you can do the washing up.
If you are lucky enough to have any left overs then this makes a nice cold pasta dish to take to work for lunch.
Serves 3-4 people
200g dried gluten free pasta – any shape that you like
1/2 courgette chopped
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 leek finely chopped
1 red pepper diced
100g mushrooms chopped into large chunks
2 garlic cloves crushed
Fresh basil chopped
1 gluten free stock cube (chicken or vegetable)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Salt and pepper
40g grated Lymn Bank Farm Hot n Spicy cheese
Oil for cooking
1. Pre-heat you oven to 220 oC or gas mark 7.
2. Heat a pan of salted water for the pasta. When it comes to the boil add the pasta and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and put aside for later. Keep two ladles of the cooking water for the sauce.
3. In a large pan heat the oil up and gently sweat off the onion, garlic, leek and courgette. Once softened add the pepper and mushrooms. Gently fry for 2 minutes and now season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Once all the vegetables have softened add the tinned tomatoes, a good dollop of tomato paste (1 tablespoon), basil and the stock cube. Also add two ladles of the cooking water from the pasta that you have saved and mix together. Bring up to the boil and leave to simmer for 2 minutes.
5. Now add the pasta and stir in and take off the heat. Transfer the pasta and vegetable mix to a medium sized heatproof dish that is deep enough to fit in all the pasta. Sprinkle on the cheese and put into the centre of the oven and bake for 25 minutes. The dish will be done when the top is golden brown and the pasta is fully cooked through.
6. Serve the dish on it’s own or with some grilled chicken.
Happy gluten free cooking 🙂