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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Ham and Vegetable Pasta Bake

This is what we'll be having for lunch today.  I'll have an extra 4 children in the house so there'll be 7 children altogether.  This recipe is cheap, filling and tasty. Just what you need when feeding a crowd.  I usually serve it with a side salad or some steamed greens.  You could leave the ham out for a vegetarian dish, or swap the ham for a well drained tin of salmon.  I add a drained tin of sweetcorn and a handful of frozen peas to up the amount of vegetables, you could add some wilted spinach if you wanted to.

500g bag fusilli or farfalle pasta

50g butter , plus a little extra

200g small mushrooms , halved or larger mushrooms, diced

small bunch spring onions , finely sliced

50g plain flour

500ml milk

1 small tin sweetcorn, well drained

1 large handful of frozen peas
150g thickly cut ham , chopped

150g mature cheddar , grated

Cook the pasta according to pack instructions, or al dente to your liking.  Drain the pasta well.  Heat up your oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6, then melt a little butter in a large saucepan.  Fry the mushrooms for a couple of minutes, then scoop out and set aside. Use some paper towel to wipe out the pan.

Melt the remaining butter in the pan, stir in the flour for a minute or two, then gradually stir in the milk until you have a lump-free sauce. Increase the heat and bubble the sauce, stirring for a few minutes to thicken. Turn off the heat, stir in the sweetcorn, peas, chopped ham and most of the cheese, then season to taste.

Tip the pasta and mushrooms into a large ovenproof dish, then pour over the sauce and mix well in the dish. Scatter over the remaining cheese and spring onions, then bake for 10 - 15 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown on top.

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