If you’re struggling to pull a meal together at the last minute then there is nothing simpler and more convenient than a pasta bake. Theoretically you can add anything into it that you think will add flavour and it’s pretty hard to go wrong! To help you on your way to last minute food heaven, we have listed one of our favourite pasta bake recipes that makes for perfect comfort eating.
Mac n Cheese
Nothing says last minute comfort food like mac n cheese and there are literally so many variations you can make of it to suit whatever is in your kitchen. Mac n cheese can be amazing when it is made right and it also allows a great deal of experimentation with cheeses and pretty much whatever pasta you have lying around.
– Begin by bringing a large pan of salted water to the boil. In a separate pan, melt butter over a low heat and then add flour and even some crushed garlic to create a roux. Once the roux is looking firm, gradually pour in milk and stir the mixture until a nice and smooth sauce is created. Leave the sauce on a low heat and keep to the side, as this will form the basis of your sauce.
– Now is the time to turn on your oven to around 200 degrees. Then add the pasta to the boiling water and cook to its required instructions, remember it is better for it to have a little more bite than it is for it to be cooked too much!
– Use this opportunity to prepare any additional extras you like with your mac n cheese, from breadcrumbs to tomatoes and maybe even leftover bacon for an extra treat.
– Once the pasta is cooked drain it and set it to the side. You can then either add the pasta to the sauce and begin to stir in your grated cheeses or melt the cheese into the existing sauce separately. We’d advise that if you are using a smaller bowl then it is best to add the cheese to the sauce before mixing in the pasta.
– This is you opportunity to work on the flavour, if the sauce needs a little seasoning or stronger cheeses added to it. You can also add some Worcester sauce if it takes your fancy.
– Once all the sauce it combined with the cheese, pour it into a relatively deep baking dish and distribute evenly. Don’t be too concerned with having a flat surface on the mac n cheese as uneven height gives it a nice rustic feel.
– Here comes the opportunity to add a bit of further indulgence! You can either place the breadcrumbs on top or dip them in melted butter for extra crunch and then great on some of your cheeses and top with Parmesan for a perfect golden finish.
– Pop it in the oven for 30-40 minutes and you have a delicious and filling meal that uses all those bits and bobs we have lying around the kitchen.