Bolognese pasta bake recipe

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  • Nut-free
serves: 6
Skill: easy
Cost: cheap
Prep: 10 min
Cooking: 1 hr 20 min
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  • This Bolognese pasta bake makes a cheap and delicious family meal – and it’s also a handy recipe for unexpected guests.


    • 1tbsp olive oil
    • 1 large onion
    • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
    • 700g (1lb 9oz) minced beef
    • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
    • 2tsp dried Italian herbs
    • 2tbsp sun-dried tomato purée
    • 300g (10oz) penne pasta
    • 25g (1oz) butter
    • 25g (1oz) flour
    • 450ml (¾ pint) milk
    • 100g (4oz) Cheddar cheese, grated
    • 2tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
    • Basil leaves, to garnish


    • Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and fry onion and garlic for 8-10 mins until softened. Add mince and brown over a high heat. Stir in the tomatoes, herbs and purée. Season well. Simmer for 30 mins, stirring occasionally.

    • Cook the pasta in a pan of lightly salted boiling water according to instructions, until just tender. Drain and rinse under cold water.

    • Heat butter in a large pan until melted then stir in the flour and cook for 1 min. Whisk in milk then bring to the boil, whisking all the time until the sauce has thickened. Simmer gently for 2 mins. Stir in half the Cheddar and season to taste. Stir in the pasta.

    • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). Spread meat sauce in a deep gratin dish. Top with the pasta and sauce. Sprinkle over rest of the Cheddar and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 25-30 mins until bubbling and golden.

    Top tip for making Bolognese pasta bake

    The bake can be doubled easily and freezes well too.

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