Baking pasta is something I don’t do very often, but I’ve been making tray bakes a lot lately. Tray bakes are very popular in England and they’re great to make – it’s essentially a one-pot dinner: you throw everything on a baking tray, throw it into a hot oven, and you’re good to go. I’m able to wash dishes while I’m waiting for the food to cook.
This recipe isn’t a “proper” recipe in that it doesn’t really matter what you put it in. I made a winter veg stew the other day, so I had half a turnip and half a celeriac in my fridge that needed eating. I also had half a red onion from a curry I made earlier in the week and I discovered a courgette that was on the borderline of just going off, so I wanted to use that, as well.
This recipe is very easy to make – the ingredients I’m including aren’t obligatory. You put what you want to.
Ingredients (for serving two people):
- 175 g of pasta – I used whole wheat fusilli
- 1/2 courgette, chopped in large chunks
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
- 1 chili pepper, chopped
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 turnip, diced
- 1/2 celaraic, diced
- 3 links of fresh sausage, casings removed
- 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 slices of Emmental cheese
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
So, the first thing I did was take the turnip and celaraic and tossed it with some olive oil and seasoned it with salt and pepper. I poured the root veg onto a baking tray in a single layer and put the tray into an oven, heated at 220 degrees.
While the root veg was baking, I prepared the rest of the vegetables. After 10 minutes, pull the tray out and and add the vegetables and the can of tomatoes, mix and spread on the tray as flat as possible.
I then took the sausage meat and broke it in tiny, bite-size pieces, and place on top of the veg.
Add the tray back into the oven and bake until the meat is cooked, another 15, 20 minutes.
While the tray was cooking, boil water for pasta and cook according to the directions on the package, but shave off about two minutes.
Once the sausage is cooked, carefully pull the tray out and set it on your counter. Add the parmesan and mix – the mixture might get a bit sticky and dray – I added a couple tablespoons of cooking water to loosen it a bit. Flatten the food again.
Once the pasta is done, remove from the heat and drain and add to the tray and mix until it’s all well combined. Place the Emmental cheese slices and bake until the cheese is melted, bubbled, and browned.
Once it’s done, remove from the oven and let it sit for a moment before you cut into it. Serve. Oh and enjoy.