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 for a rich and meaty midweek meal.

    You’ll be pushed to find anyone who doesn’t love a classic bolognese pasta bake. Budget-friendly and boasting delicious hearty flavours, it’s a proper plate of comfort food. We’ve layered the traditional mince with some creamy white sauce and penne pasta, then sprinkled over some extra cheese and baked for an extra 20 minutes. The end result is a golden, crunchy top with a gooey meat and cheese centre. So delicious.

    Ingredients

    • 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

    Method

    • 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.

    Tips for making bolognese pasta bake:

    To save on time (and calories), you could skip the white sauce and cover your mince and penne pasta with mozzarella, then bake for 10 minutes

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