5 ways with pasta bakes

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Butternut squash, sprout and bacon ravioli bake
Serves 4


Peel ½ a butternut squash and chop into 2cm chunks. Bring to a boil in a large pot of salted water and cook for 12-15 minutes until tender. Drain and allow to cool, then place in a food processor or blender and whizz until smooth. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat. Add 4 chopped streaky bacon rashers and cook until golden and crisp. Remove to a plate. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the same pan, and cook 8 sliced Brussels sprouts and 2 sliced shallots for 4-5 minutes. Add 2 crushed garlic cloves, 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage and some salt and pepper. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, then add to the bacon. In a saucepan, combine the squash purée with 60ml milk and 30ml cream. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium-low. Add 80g grated Parmesan and some salt and black pepper. Stir to combine well. Preheat the oven to 190˚C/170˚C fan/gas mark 5 and grease a 23 x 33cm baking dish with olive oil. Add the bacon mixture, the squash sauce and 2 x 300g packs of shop-bought ravioli. Stir to combine together. Tear over a 200g ball of fresh Mozzarella and bake for 30 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve immediately.


Garlic prawn and orzo bake
Serves 4


Preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/gas mark 4. Spread 800g raw, peeled and deveined prawns evenly into a large shallow baking dish. In a bowl, combine 6 garlic cloves, ½ tsp dried basil, ½ tsp dried thyme, 2 tbsp fresh parsley and some salt and black pepper. Sprinkle the mixture over the prawns. Squeeze over the juice of 1 lemon and toss to coat. Dot over 100g cubed butter. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook 300g orzo until al dente according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside. Remove the prawns from the oven and add the cooked orzo. Stir to mix well, then sprinkle with 100g grated Parmesan. Bake for a further 6-8 minutes until the cheese is crisp and the edges are bubbling. Serve with lemon wedges and fresh parsley.


Goat’s cheese and chorizo stuffed pasta shells
Serves 2


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook 120g large pasta shells according to the package instructions until just barely al dente. Drain, rinse under cold water and set aside. Place a pan over a medium heat and add 100g chopped chorizo to the dry pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes until it releases its oils. Remove half of the chorizo and set aside. Add ½ a chopped onion and 2 crushed garlic cloves and cook in the oil for 2-3 minutes. Stir in 2 tbsp tomato purée, then add 250ml tomato passata. Season with salt and pepper, turn the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a baking dish. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/gas mark 4. Melt a knob of butter in a pan and cook 30g breadcrumbs until golden. Remove to a plate lined with kitchen paper. Divide the reserved chorizo amongst the bottoms of the pasta shells, then stuff them with 200g soft goat’s cheese. Scatter over the breadcrumbs and 40g grated Parmesan. Arrange the shells in a single layer over the tomato sauce, then place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Serve with garlic bread.


Aubergine and tomato farfalle bake
Serves 2


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook 200g farfalle according to the package instructions until just barely al dente. Drain, rinse under cold water and set aside. Preheat the oven to 200˚C/180˚C fan/gas mark 6. Heat 50ml olive oil and cook 1 sliced aubergine until golden brown. Remove to a plate. Add 2 chopped carrots, 1 chopped celery stalk and 1 chopped onion to the pan and cook over a medium-low heat for 12-15 minutes until lightly coloured. Add 3 crushed garlic cloves and some salt and black pepper and cook for one minute. Add the farfalle and 1 tbsp tomato purée. Toss everything together well and cook for 2-3 minutes. Return the aubergine to the pan. Transfer to a baking dish and pour over 300ml chicken or vegetable stock. Stir in 100g grated Mozzarella and 1 tbsp lemon juice, making sure everything is well combined. Place a layer of breadcrumbs and sliced tomatoes over the top. Bake for 40 minutes until golden brown.


Chicken spaghetti bake
Serves 2


Preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/gas mark 4. Break 200g spaghetti in half. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add 1 finely chopped onion and cook for 5-6 minutes until softened. Add 2 crushed garlic cloves and cook for one minute longer. Add 200g cooked shredded chicken, 60g grated Parmesan, 120ml cream, 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes, 1 tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp dried basil and some salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir together, adding more seasoning as needed. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and top with 60g grated Mozzarella. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is golden and the edges are bubbling. Garnish with fresh basil.

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