Greek Pasta Bake

Greek Pasta Bake


A tasty baked dish of lamb, pasta and tomatoes covered in a white sauce and topped with grated cheese.


Greek Pasta Bake
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: About 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes hob, 30 minutes oven

  • Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 450g (1 lb) lamb mince/ground lamb
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée/paste
  • 2 × 400g tins or 1 × 28 fl oz can chopped/diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) good beef stock (⅔ cup)
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • 28g (1 oz) butter (2 tbsp, or ¼ stick)
  • 28g (1 oz) plain/all purpose flour (3 tbsp)
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) milk (1¼ cups)
  • 170g (6 oz) macaroni (1½ cups)
  • 55g (2 oz) Cheddar cheese, grated/shredded (½ cup)

  • You will also need a 2 litre (3 pint) (8 cup) ovenproof dish.

  • To serve
  • Accompany with a green salad

  1. Method
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic over a medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until softened.

  3. Increase the heat, add the lamb, and stir-fry for 3–4 minutes until browned all over, breaking up any lumps as it is cooking.

  4. Now reduce the heat and stir through the tomato purée/paste and cook for 1–2 minutes.

  5. Then stir in the tomatoes, bay leaves, and stock, and season. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 35–40 minutes.

  6. minutes before the meat sauce has finished cooking preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4).

  7. Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water as directed on the packet. Drain well.

  8. Meanwhile make the white sauce. Melt the butter in a small pan, then tip in the flour and stir to make a smooth paste. Cook over a low heat for 1–2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Gradually whisk in the milk, stirring continuously, until smooth. Then cook for 4–5 minutes on a low heat, stirring until the sauce starts to thicken.

  9. Spread half the macaroni over the base of the dish. Spoon the meat sauce on top. Then cover with the remaining macaroni.

  10. Pour the white sauce evenly over the top and scatter with cheese.

  11. Bake for 25–30 minutes until the sauce is bubbling around the edges.

  12. Tip
  13. A foolproof way to make a smooth white sauce:

  14. Once the butter has melted, tilt the pan so all the melted butter rests in one corner. Tip the flour onto the pool of butter. It will then be easier to stir to a smooth paste. Also preheat the milk in a microwave, on high, for 1 minute, then gradually whisk it into the roux. Adding warm milk gradually will make a smooth sauce without any lumps.

Updated: December 29, 2019

Tuna and Egg Pasta

Tuna and Egg Pasta


Looking for a quick and easy supper from cupboard staples? Then here’s a tasty Tuna and Egg Pasta dish. Penne and a couple of cans of tuna are folded into a cheese sauce and topped with egg and crunchy buttered  breadcrumbs.


Tuna and Egg Pasta
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: about 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes (oven)

  • Ingredients
  • 170g (6 oz) penne (2¼ cups)
  • ½ onion, finely sliced
  • 85g (3 oz) butter (⅜ cup, or ¾ stick)
  • 55g (2 oz) flour (⅓ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 500ml (20 fl oz) milk (2½ cups)
  • 2 x 160g tins (170g cans) chunk light tuna in oil, drained
  • 3 eggs, hard boiled
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • 115g (4 oz) mature/old Cheddar cheese, grated (1 cup)
  • 55g (2 oz) breadcrumbs (1 cup)

  • You will also need a 1.14 litre (2 pint) (6 cup capacity) ovenproof dish

  1. Method
  2. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6)

  3. Cook penne and onion together in a pan of boiling, salted water for as long as directed on the packet of pasta. Drain and set aside.

  4. Meanwhile melt 55g (2 oz) (¼ cup, or ½ stick) of the butter in a pan and then stir in the flour to make a smooth paste. Cook over a low heat for 1 minute.

  5. Then slowly stir the milk into the roux until the sauce is smooth. Bring to the boil, stirring, until the sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat.

  6. Next add the cheese and seasoning, and stir until the cheese has melted.

  7. Mix in the penne and onion.

  8. Then gently mix in the tuna, breaking up any large pieces.

  9. Now spoon into the ovenproof dish.

  10. Shell the eggs and cut into quarters. Arrange over the top of the pasta and gently press down.

  11. Finally, melt the remaining butter in a pan and fry the breadcrumbs until crisp. Scatter over the top.

  12. Bake in the oven for 20–30 minutes until bubbling around the edges and browning on the top.

Updated: December 18, 2019

One-Dish Lamb Pasta

One-Dish Lamb Pasta


Simple to prepare, this tasty pasta dish gets cooked in one pan in just under 30 minutes. Lamb is cooked in a red wine, tomato and thyme sauce with farfalle (bow-tie pasta). Great served with a leafy salad, and crusty bread to soak up the sauce.


One-Dish Lamb Pasta
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 27 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 450g (1 lb) lamb mince/ground lamb
  • 400g can (½ x 28 fl oz can) chopped/diced tomatoes
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) red wine (⅔ cup)
  • 1 heaped tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée/paste
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • 600ml (20 fl oz) vegetable or chicken stock (2½ cups)
  • 170g (6 oz) farfalle pasta(3 cups)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • fresh Parmesan to garnish

  • To serve
  • A leafy salad and crusty bread

  • You will also need a large sauté pan with lid and four pasta dishes.

  1. Method
  2. Heat the oil and add the onion and lamb to the pan. Brown the meat over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently and breaking up any clumps of lamb.

  3. Now add the tomatoes, red wine, thyme, tomato purée/paste, seasoning, and stock. Stir everything together then bring the sauce to the boil. Cover the pan, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.

  4. Next stir in the pasta and continue to simmer, uncovered, for a further 12 minutes, or until the pasta is just tender. Stir occasionally.

  5. Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce.

  6. Spoon into the four dishes and top with a little grated Parmesan.

  7. Serve with a leafy salad and crusty bread to soak up the tasty sauce.

Updated: July 10, 2019

Pasta al Forno Siciliana

Pasta al forno Siciliana Pasta al forno Siciliana


Layers of ragù, rigatoni, ham, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses make pasta al forno Siciliana a truly flavourful Italian dish.


Pasta al Forno Siciliana
Prepares: 8 servings
  • Preparation time: About 45 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour on hob, 25 minutes in oven

  • Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 900g (2 lb) minced/ground beef
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 240ml (8 fl oz)red wine (1 cup)
  • 540ml (18 fl oz) passata (2¼ cups)
  • 225g (8 oz) frozen peas (1½ cups)
  • 450g (1 lb) rigatoni pasta (7½ cups)
  • 170g (6 oz) sliced ham, cut into strips (about 6 slices)
  • 225g (8 oz) mozzarella cheese, chopped
  • 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra to serve

  • To serve
  • A green salad or caesar salad

  • You will also need a deep ovenproof dish measuring 22cm x 30.5cm (8½ ins x 12 ins) and 6.5cm (2½ ins) deep.

  1. Method
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onions and cook over a low heat, stirring frequently, until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

  3. Now turn up the heat to moderate, add the meat and brown, stirring often to break up any lumps, about 5 minutes.

  4. Stir in the oregano, thyme, wine, and plenty of seasoning. Continue to cook until the wine has been absorbed, about 5 minutes.

  5. Next, stir in the passata, 240ml (8 fl oz) (1 cup) water, and add the bay leaf. Cover the pan and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. At the end of the cooking time the consistency should be that of a loose ragù. Add a little more water if it is getting too thick.

  6. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F)( gas 5).

  7. minutes before the ragù has finished cooking, start cooking the pasta. Add the pasta to a large pan of boiling salted water and let it cook for 2 minutes less than the recommended time on the packet. Drain.

  8. Add the peas to the ragù and then remove the pan from the heat. Discard the bay leaf.

  9. Now to layer the dish. Spoon a thin layer of the ragù over the base of the ovenproof dish. Add half the pasta and then spoon over half the remaining ragù. Top with all the ham. Now scatter over half the mozzarella plus 2 tbsp of the Parmesan. Add the rest of the pasta then spoon over the rest of the ragù. Finally scatter over the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.

  10. Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for a further 10 minutes until piping hot and golden.

  11. Serve with extra Parmesan sprinkled on the top and a salad.

Updated: October 1, 2018

Chicken and Cauliflower Pasta Bake

Chicken and Cauliflower Pasta Bake


Here is a lovely dish to use up that leftover chicken or turkey. Chicken chunks are combined with cauliflower florets, baby spinach and penne in a flavoured cheese sauce which is topped with a crisp, cheesy, breadcrumb topping.


Chicken and Cauliflower Pasta Bake
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: 40 minute
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 225g (8 oz) penne (3 cups)
  • ½ medium cauliflower
  • 45g (1½ oz) butter (3 tbsp, or ⅜ stick)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 45g (1½ oz) flour (¼ cup)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 300ml (20 fl oz) chicken stock (2½ cups)
  • 225g (8 oz) cheese, grated (shredded) (2 cups)
  • 340g (12 oz) cooked chicken or turkey cut into small chunks (3 cups)
  • 115g (4 oz) baby spinach leaves (4 cups)
  • 2 tbsp sage, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme, stems removed
  • 45g (1½ oz) fresh breadcrumbs (1 cup)

  • You will also need a 3 litre (12 cup) casserole dish, greased.

  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas5)

  3. Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling, salted water for 6 minutes.

  4. Next, break the cauliflower into small florets and once the pasta has cooked for 6 minutes, add the florets to the pan. Bring the water back to the boil then cook for 2 minutes. Drain well.

  5. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium pan. Add the onion and stir to coat with the butter, then cook gently for about 3 minutes until the onion begins to soften. Now stir in the flour and season. Next, gradually whisk in the stock until there is a smooth sauce. Then bring the stock to the boil, reduce the heat and continue to cook until the sauce thickens slightly, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and add three quarters of the cheese, stirring until it has melted.

  6. In a large bowl combine the pasta mixture, meat, spinach, sage, thyme, and sauce. Pour into the casserole dish.

  7. Now toss the breadcrumbs with the remaining cheese and sprinkle evenly over the top,

  8. Bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes until the sauce is bubbling around the edge and the top is golden.

  9. Leave to stand for 5–10 minutes before serving.


Neapolitan Pork Fillets

Neapolitan Pork Fillets


Pork fillets cooked in wine and flavoured with oregano, then covered with mozzarella cheese and a dollop of thick passata sauce.


Neapolitan Pork Fillets
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Marinading time: 1 hour
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4450g (1 lb) pork fillet/tenderloin
  • 3 fresh oregano sprigs
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) red wine (⅔ cup)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 28g (1 oz) butter (⅛ cup, or ¼ stick)
  • 4 tbsp chicken stock
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) passata (1¼ cups)
  • 115g (4 oz) mozzarella cheese, cut into four thick slices
  • 2 tsp dried oregano

  • To serve
  • Pasta (fettuccini works well)

  1. Method
  2. Cut the pork into four and then flatten a little by placing each piece between cling film/plastic wrap and bashing with a rolling pin.

  3. Place the fillets side by side in a shallow dish. Season and add the sprigs of oregano and crushed garlic. Then pour over the wine, cover the dish and marinade for one hour.

  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) gas 6.

  5. Meanwhile, spread the flour over a plate. Remove the fillets from the marinade and pat dry, then coat both sides in the flour. Reserve the marinade.

  6. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the butter over a moderate heat in a large frying pan/skillet. The butter will begin to foam and when this almost stops add the pork fillets. Sear on both sides for 2–3 minutes.

  7. Strain the reserved marinade and add to the pan/skillet. Let it bubble for 30 seconds, then add the stock, and season. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to a low setting, cover the pan, and cook for 10 minutes.

  8. Meanwhile, pour the passata into a small pan over a moderate heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, season, and let it bubble, uncovered, to reduce to a thick sauce, about 5 minutes.

  9. Now bring a kettle of water to the boil for the pasta and cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet.

  10. Next, put the peppers in a bowl, pour over 2 tablespoons of olive oil and toss to coat. Tip into a large pan and sauté until soft.

  11. Once the pork is cooked through, transfer the fillets to an ovenproof dish that is large enough to hold them in a single layer.

  12. Add 1 tablespoon water to the frying pan/skillet, stir and then reduce the liquid to 3–4 tablespoons. Spoon over the pork.

  13. Cover each fillet with a slice of mozzarella and then add a large spoonful of the passata sauce in the middle of the slice. (Keep any remaining sauce warm.) Sprinkle over the oregano.

  14. Pop in the oven until the cheese just starts to melt, about 5 minutes.

  15. Spoon any remaining passata on four dinner plates and then top with the pasta. Add the pork fillets and spoon over the sauce from the ovenproof dish. Serve with the peppers.

Updated: August 23, 2019