Easy Cheesy Pasta Bake
- 200g (7oz) dried pasta (spaghetti) (500g (1lb 1oz) cooked)
- Dash oil plus another dash for baking
- 250g (8oz) mixed vegetables (e.g. onion, leek and red pepper)
- 4 eggs
- 150ml (5floz) milk (or cream)
- Good pinch salt and pepper
- 150g (5oz) cheese, grated (cheddar is ideal or use a mixture)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or oregano or basil)
- Cook the pasta, drain, rinse under cold water and reserve. Meanwhile, add a dash of oil to a pan, add the vegetables and cook 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs and milk with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Add 125g (4oz) of the grated cheese and herbs, mix again, then add the cooked pasta and vegetables and mix well.
- Put the mixture into a well-oiled baking tin or flan dish approximately 20 cm diameter and 3-4 cm deep. Press down gently and top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake in a preheated oven 180°C/ Gas 6/ 400F for 25 minutes until lightly browned.
- Rest for 10 minutes, then slide out onto a board or plate, and slice in wedges.
Chef’s tip from Lyndon
You can also cook this over a low heat in a large frying pan, then finish under the grill to brown the top.
Add all sorts of cooked vegetables, remnants of cheese, fresh herbs, any vegetables that need using up. Or add cooked meats such as chicken or ham. Any leftovers should be stored in an airtight container then placed in the fridge. Eat within 2 days.
Can be made using whatever you have available. Or to create a gourmet dish, add smoked bacon, ham or fish. Use any vegetables from frozen peas to fresh asparagus. Try adding different cheeses such as feta or Stilton.
Add garlic, fresh herbs, cooked filled pasta such as ravioli. Mix in some pesto, add a sprinkle of chilli flakes. Or add a generous teaspoon of wholegrain mustard or a dash of Worcestershire sauce.
For best results, cool down quickly (ideally within an hour), divide into portions, place in an airtight container, label and then pop in the freezer. Defrost in the fridge, ideally overnight, and use within 24 hours after defrosting. Reheat in microwave or covered in foil in the oven, heating thoroughly until piping hot.
Vegetarian and vegan options
Perfect for vegetarians. Vegans can use non-dairy alternatives, adding extra herbs and tahini for more flavour. An egg-free omelette mixture is widely available
Can be made with gluten-free pasta and soya or rice milk as well as dairy or lactose-free cheeses and egg-free omelette mixes.