Pasta bake is one of my go to easy meals. It can be something that can be quickly prepared and left ready to be thrown in the oven for nights when you know you won't be able to face cooking. You can use whatever you have in the house at the time, add it to a basic tomato sauce and top with some cheese and you are good to go! The problem is, I'm usually terrible to not actually paying attention to what I'm putting in and then having no recipe to share at the end, or I can never recreate it just right again. So this year I am making a conscious effort to keep my recipe notebook beside me when I am cooking EVERYTHING and jot as I go. So hopefully this will help me increase the amount of recipes I have to post here!
Turkey mince is something I started using a lot this year, and will continue well into 2017. My other half even said he wouldn't miss the beef after tasting this pasta bake! You can save so many SmartPoints using this mince, and really it is so tasty.
Last year I got these great individual baking dishes at lidl and it makes life so much easier when cooking for multiple people who may be eating at different time or even if you are the only dieter in the house you can alter the toppings/ingredients much more easily. I made this past bake last Wednesday to be cooked and eaten after my weigh in on Thursday. My other half didn't have to wait until 9pm when I got home to eat, and I got a freshly baked pasta bake! The recipe can of course be made in one big dish, whatever is easiest for you.
Finally I just want to apologise for this photo, I will update it with a better one next time I make this. I just snapped and then ate without really thinking about it!
SmartPoints per Serving: 12
SmartPoints on No Count: 3
300g pasta shapes (use brown for NoCount)
400g Turkey Mince
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves
3 mixed colour peppers
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 ball low fat mozzarella
50g low fat mature cheddar
Salt & Black Pepper
Roast all 3 peppers until the skin has started to blacken and set aside to cool down.
Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the onions. Drop the heat to low, cover and sweat for 4-5 minutes until soft & translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and turkey mince and cook for 4-5 minutes stirring constantly, you don't want to have any pink mince visible.
Add the passata and balsamic vinegar and simmer for 15-20 minutes, giving it a quick stir every now and then. While this is simmering, peel and chop the cooled peppers. Stir through the peppers, basil and season to taste.
In the meantime, cook the pasta for 8 minutes. It will continue to cook in the oven so you do want it to have a good bit of bite left.
Mix your sauce with the pasta and pour into either 4 individual oven dishes, or one large ovenproof dish. Slice & arrange the mozzarella evenly over the top and then sprinkle with the grated cheddar. Top with some freshly ground black pepper if you like. (At this point you can cover, cool and refrigerate or freeze and cook it another day)
Cook in a preheated over (180C) for 30-35 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Serve with a green salad with balsamic vinegar dressing.