Pasta bake - quickneasy or as bad as making lasagne?(13 Posts)
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Pasta bakes are always presented as a quick and easy family meal, so I thought it would make a change.
Now I come to look at recipes you make everything in adavance using all the pots in the kitchen and then a baking receptacle too.
Not quick and easy and all the washing up.
Am I missing something?
If you make sure the sauce is liquid enough you don’t need to pre-boil the pasta. Works well with tomatoey sauces rather than cheese ones.
I usually make a vat of tomato-based sauce (onion, garlic, celery, tinned tomatoes, red/white wine, bay leaf, but of sugar and seasoning) and freeze and then use that as a base for pasta bakes. I shove in finely chopped veggies/leftover roast meat/tuna etc, add the tomato sauce, top up with stock and into the oven for 30 mins, then cheese on top and about 20 minutes more.
For variation you can stir in creme fraiche to make a creamier sauce which is lovely.
Also gnocchi makes an excellent bake and doesn’t need pre-cooking at all and can go straight into a cheese sauce and shove into the oven. I prefer it to pasta usually!
If we have pasta bake then I buy a jar of sauce. The homepride ones (I think it’s those ones) you don’t even pre-cook the pasta just chuck some water in with the pasta and sauce.
Hmm. Okay. So it’s lots of pans unless you’re organised enough to have frozen sauce (sometimes) or a tin or jar is what makes it easy. .....
I’m not a hundred percent convinced I must say. However, I may give it a bash.
Does fresh rather than dried pasta make a difference?
If you do something basic like tuna and tomato then the sauce will cook at the same time as the pasta and then you just chuck it in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. It's not quicker than non-baked pasta of course but is pretty easy.
we only make pasta bake from leftover pasta.
otherwise it's just too faffy.
I just whisk leftover sauce with an egg and some milk and pour over.
top with grated cheese.
Quick tomato pasta sauce :
Fry off garlic and onion. (One small pan will do) add carton of passata, couple tablespoons purée, basil, oregano - prep oven dish of pasta, veg that you want and pour sauce over. Cook at 200 for 30 mins top with cheese and grill if you like.
Quick creamy pasta sauce:
Fry off onion & garlic, depending how many you're doing for (just me and dd here) use either half or full carton garlic and herb cream cheese, 1/4 or half pint of milk (not skimmed though) heat and mix till an even consistency, prep pasta as before, pour over sauce, 180 for 25 mins again grilled cheese on top of you like.
I've found soups work well too.
Oh yea - covered dish for main part of cooking unless grilling cheese on top. These are my favourite lazy dinners.
Pasta bake to me is a busy night dinner. So its jar. One mattessons sausage diced. One pepper diced. Pasta boiled and rinsed. Mix all witb sauce. Chuck in dish. Chuck pre grated cheddar on top. Heat.
I save my cooking skills and ability and fresh ingredients for other nights in the week.
It's a shortcut night for me too. Cook a 500g bag of pasta, add a jar of sauce or a tin of tomatoes, tin of sweet corn, three tins of tuna, cover with lots if grated cheese. Makes a big tray and leftovers that taste okay cold in a lunchbox.
I am not usually that fussed on pasta bake, but made one last week which was the best ever. Fry onion, carrot pepper, courgette garlic cherry tomatoes and tomato puree. Add a splash of water a large tin of baked beans sliced cooked sausages, cooked pasta and top with mozzarella and parmesan bake for 15 mins.
Oh and I fry everything in an oven proof pan so it goes straight into the oven.
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