I am officially acting on request tonight, as the boys have both simultaneously bellowed ‘PASTA’ at me, before running off into the lounge. Hence, I shall deliver on that request…am I good, or what?!?
This one is a bit of an ‘invent it entirely from scratch’ recipe, with a few bits and bobs from other recipes I’ve used in the past thrown in… but sod it, lets have a go and see where it gets us (check my verdict at the bottom first before attempting your own, he heh!)
Spinach and Mozarella Pasta Bake
You will need:
1) A quantity of pasta, enough for four people (if feeding four!)
2) baby leaf spinach, about three good handfuls, roughly chopped.
3) 2 eggs
4) A tin of tomatoes.
5) Some fresh tomatoes (not entirely necessary, but I’ve got WAY too many tomatoes at the mo, so am using them up!)
6) A tbsp of tomato purée.
7) olive oil
8) A splash of red wine (optional. I’m leaving it out as we don’t have any!)
9) A small bowl of breadcrumbs.
10) a bag of grated Mozarella.
11) 100g grated cheddar.
12) A tsp dried basil.
13) Parmesan to top.
How to make it:
1) Preheat the oven to 180c, and get some water on to boil the pasta in. Cook the pasta then drain.
2) Meanwhile, start preparing your tomato sauce. Chop the fresh tomatoes (if using) and roughly chop the spinach (putting the spinach to one side for later).
3) Pour the tinned tomatoes in a saucepan, bring to a high heat, then lower to a simmer. Add the fresh tomatoes and tomato purée (and wine, if using) and simmer until reduced to a tasty thick sauce. Add the basil towards the end.
4) In the biggest bowl you have, break the eggs, add around 4 tbsp olive oil and whisk together.
5) Add the spinach and breadcrumbs to the egg mix and stir well.
6) When the pasta is cooked, drain well and add to the spinach and egg mix. Again, stir well.
7) Take the sauce off the hob and pour roughly a third into the bottom of an oven proof dish. Then layer over with half the pasta mix.
8) Pour over another third of the sauce, then add half the Mozarella and half the cheddar.
9) Then, pop the rest of the pasta on top, pour over the remaining sauce and add the remaining cheese. Top off with a little bit of Parmesan.
10) Finally, pop in the oven for around 30minutes, or until golden on top!
Total Cost? By far and away the most expensive thing was the grated Mozarella, which was a pound for the bag. The rest of the ingredients were pretty cheap. In total, this cost around £2.20. Which works out as 55p per person.
The Verdict? Wowzers…I don’t think I’ve ever seen DB1 eat so much! It was a very firm thumbs up from him. DB2 took more persuading, but eventually he ate a fairly sizeable portion too. I myself really liked it…hoorah, the recipe worked! It was a little bit ‘pizza-y’ and yet still quite pasta bakey. Yum yum!