Pasta Bake

By 28th September 2019 October 7th, 2019 No Comments


I’ve never really been that worried about school holidays until we had our own kids! The effort that goes into looking after and entertaining them is immense. So one way of keeping them entertained is to keep them busy in the kitchen!

This recipe does require Mum or Dad to keep a slight eye on them, as it involves boiling liquids and some knife skills. But trust me, a béchamel or white sauce is one of the best skills you can show them. Once you have a white sauce they have the base for a meal and can cook Mum and Dad dinner time and time again.

White sauce with shredded chicken and pastry = Chicken pie
White sauce with spinach and pita pockets = Tasty snacks
White sauce with cooked mince = Lasagna
White sauce with cooked silverside = Awesome toasted sandwiches

A little bit fancy Pasta Bake

(serves 6)

  • 200 gm champagne ham or sliced ham, roughly chopped
  • 150 gm ricotta cheese
  • 6 large field mushrooms
  • 1 x 500g pkt penne pasta
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 x French stick
  • 1 pkt mesclun mix
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Dijon mustard to serve
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 180*C. Drizzle the mushrooms with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes then slice thinly. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. In a large casserole dish, combine the pasta, béchamel, ham, ricotta and mushrooms. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and bake for 30 minutes. Serve with sliced French stick and salad mix drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice.

Béchamel sauce

  • 50g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 2 cups milk, warmed
  • 4 Tbsp parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Over medium heat, melt the butter in a saucepan until bubbling. Add the flour and stir for a further 1 minute. Turn heat off! then Carefully!! and gradually add the milk, stirring constantly until a smooth consistency is reached. Turn heat on again to medium heat. Adding the Parmesan and mustard and stir until combined. Cook for a further 2 minutes.