Pasta bakes are so comforting and make perfect one-dish meals for the family. Even better, they can be prepped ahead, and put in the oven when you return home after a busy day at work. They’re perfect for potluck parties, too!
ZUCCHINI CARBONARA FRITTATAS
Prep 15 mins | Cook 25 mins | Serves 4
375 g fettuccine
1 tbsp olive oil
4 rashers rindless bacon, thinly sliced
1 onion, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 large zucchinis, peeled into ribbons
¾ cup pure cream
½ cup grated parmesan, plus
½ cup extra
1 tbsp thyme leaves, plus extra sprigs to serve
1. Preheat oven to moderate, 180 C. Lightly grease four 1½-cup shallow ovenproof dishes. Place on a large oven tray.
2. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook pasta following packet instructions until al dente. Drain well and return to pan.
3. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat oil on high. Saute bacon 2 to 3 mins until browned and starting to crisp. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and sauce, cook 4 to 5 mins until onion is tender. Stir in garlic and cook 1 min. Remove pan from heat and toss zucchini through.
4. In a large jug, whisk eggs, cream, parmesan and thyme together. Season. Toss through pasta with bacon mixture. Divide pasta between dishes and pour the leftover egg mix over. Sprinkle with extra parmesan.
5. Bake 12 to 15 mins until just set in centre. Serve warm or cool, scattered with extra thyme sprigs.
BARBECUED CORN & SAUSAGE BAKES
Prep 15 mins | Cook 35 mins | Serves 4
500 g beef sausages
1 corn cob, husks, silks removed
1 large red onion, 1 cm-thick wedges
300 g farfalle pasta
1 cup grated cheddar
1 bunch chives, chopped
250 g cherry tomatoes, quartered Hot sauce, to serve
40 g butter
2 tbsps Dijon mustard
2 cups milk
1. Preheat oven to moderate 180 C. Lightly grease six 2-cup ovenproof dishes.
2. Preheat a chargrill pan or barbecue grill on high. Cook sausages and corn 10 mins, turning on all sides, until cooked through and grill marks appear. Grill onion 2 mins each side until marks appear. Slice sausages into quarters.
3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook pasta following packet instructions until al dente. Drain and return to pan.
4. SAUCE In a medium saucepan, melt butter on medium. Stir in flour, cook 1 min until bubbling and golden. Remove from heat. Mix in mustard, then gradually whisk in milk until smooth. Return to heat and cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens. Simmer 3 mins. Season.
5. Add sausage and sauce to pasta with half cheese. Mix well and divide between dishes. Slice corn, onion and remaining cheese. Bake 12 to 15 mins until cheese melts. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp chives.
6. Toss tomatoes and remaining chives with a little hot sauce and serve with pasta bakes.
BROCCOLI, PEA & TUNA SHELLS
Prep 30 mins | Cook 1 hour | Serves 6
350 g large pasta shells
700 ml tomato passata
500 ml vegetable stock
1 cup shredded pizza cheese FILLING
1 large head broccoli, small florets
1½ cups frozen peas
425 g can tuna in olive oil, drained
250 ml tub sour cream
¼ cup chopped mint leaves, grated Zest 1 lemon
1. Preheat oven to hot, 200 C.
2. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, parboil pasta 4 to 5 mins until just starting to soften on edges. Drain, retain water.
3. FILLING In pasta water, blanch broccoli and peas 30 secs until bright green. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well. Season.
4. Pour combined passata and stock into a 25 x 35 cm (3 litre) baking dish. Fill pasta shells with tuna mixture. Arrange in dish, open-side up. Cover with foil, bake 40 mins until sauce has been well absorbed.
5. Sprinkle cheese over. Bake, uncovered, 10 to 15 mins until cheese is melted and light golden.
SPAGHETTI & MEATBALL NESTS
Prep 20 mins | Cook 40 mins | Serves 8
300 g spaghetti
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
400 g tomato puree
2 tbsps red-wine vinegar
500 g turkey or chicken mince
½ cup dried breadcrumbs
1⁄3 cup chopped basil, plus extra leaves to serve
1 cup grated parmesan, plus
½ cup extra
1. Preheat oven to hot, 200 C. Grease eight 1-cup Texas muffin pan recesses.
2. In a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti following packet instructions. Drain.
3. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat half oil on medium. Saute onion and garlic 4 to 5 mins. Spoon half into a large bowl. Set aside to cool.
4. Stir puree, half paste and vinegar into onion in frying pan. Bring to boil. Simmer 2 mins. Season.
5. Add mince, breadcrumbs, basil, 1 egg and remaining paste to cooled onion mixture. Season and mix well. Shape level tbsp mixture into balls.
6. In a jug, whisk remaining eggs with parmesan and mix into pasta. Season. Divide among muffi n holes, shaping into nests. Leave indent in centre.
7. Spoon 1 tbsp sauce into each nest and push 3 meatballs into each nest. Spoon remaining sauce over, sprinkle with extra parmesan.
8. Bake 20 to 25 mins until golden brown. Cool in pan 2 mins, then remove. Top with extra basil and serve with salad, if liked.
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