Sorry it’s taken me a while to write this one up but I’ve been looking after a friend’s dog, the delightful Milo, for a week now and he’s taken a lot of my attention!
Last Tuesday I had Fig over for dinner and Doctor Who (Genesis of the Daleks – it’s a classic!) and Alberto was working late so I decided to cobble together a pasta bake for us – something tasty, simple and easy to reheat. There was enough for four generous portions so Alberto was able to have some for lunch on Thursday too! This is a recipe of my own devising but is simple and easy to do.
I served it with some tomato and rosemary flatbread as Figgy doesn’t like eating garlic bread in the evenings.
500g of lamb mince
1 large red onion, peeled and chopped
1 large leeks, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 medium courgette, sliced and quartered
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
1-2 tablespoons of tomato puree
1-2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh mint
1 tablespoon of chopped, fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 mozzarella ball, drained and sliced into 8 slices
60g of Parmiggiano Regianno (or finely grated Italian cheese of your choice.)
300g of fusili pasta
Pre-heat the oven to 200
Heat the olive oil is a large saucepan and gently cook the onion and garlic until lightly coloured and starting to soften.
Add the lamb mince, break up the lumps with a wooden spoon and fry until coloured and well mixed in with the onion and garlic.
Add the leeks, courgette and sliced red pepper and stir well to combine. Cook though for 3-4 minutes until the slices of pepper start to soften.
Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, chopped mint, thyme leaves, stir well and simmer for 15 minutes or so, (I also chucked in a good glug of red wine) until the sauce has thickened.
Whilst the meat sauce is cooking, cook the pasta in boiling, salted water, until al dente. Drain.
Once the sauce is cooked stir in the drained pasta.
Transfer half of the mixture to a rectangular oven-proof, ceramic dish and top with half of the mozzarella. Cover with the rest of the mixture, top with the rest of the mozzarella and then sprinkle the cheese over the top.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until bubbling and golden. Serve immediately!