Pasta Bakes: PotLuck Summer Pasta Recipe
- 500 g dried penne or rigatoni
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 800 g tinned plum tomatoes, drained and deseeded
- 6 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 small piece of chilli, to taste
- 150 g cooked peas, sweetcorn or sliced mushrooms
- 370 g tinned tuna in oil, half drained
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 100 g cooked ham or chicken, cut into slivers
- 150 g mozzarella cheese, diced
- 50 g salami, finely chopped (optional)
- 15 g crisp breadcrumbs
- Extra virgin olive oil, for frying and drizzling
- #Bechamel Sauce#
- 40 g butter
- 40 g flour
- 400 ml warmed milk
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- A baking dish, about 30 x 20 cm
- #This dish is extremely versatile, meaning that you can vary the type and quantities of vegetables, meat and fish to suit your taste and what you have to hand.# Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F) Gas 7.
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the pasta and cook until slightly less than al dente. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of the cooking water, and return to the pan.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. When the oil is searing hot, add the tomatoes. Cook for 1 -2 minutes, taking care not to burn the tomatoes, but allowing them to caramelize a little. Reduce the heat and mash the tomatoes with a potato masher, then add the garlic and oregano.
- Stir well, cover and cook for a few minutes, then add the mushrooms, if using, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Stir in the tuna, capers, peas and ham and heat through.
- To make the bechamel sauce melt the butter in a small saucepan. When it starts to bubble, add the flour and mix well. Cook over gentle heat for 1-2 minutes, then whisk in the milk and continue cooking until the sauce thickens. Add grated nutmeg and season to taste.
- Add the tomato sauce to the pasta with the reserved water and mix until the pasta is well coated. Stir in the mozzarella and salami, if using. Transfer to a large, shallow, buttered ovenproof dish and pour the bechamel sauce over the top. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs. Drizzle with olive oil and bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes until golden. Serve immediately.
- Note: To make crisp breadcrumbs, cut the crusts off a large, slightly stale, white loaf and lay them on a large baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 100°C (200°F) Gas 1/2 for about 1 hour until they have dried out completely and are crisp all the way through. Leave to cool, break into large pieces, then put in a food processor and reduce to fine crumbs.