Friday, 17 May 2013

Friday Food-day: Veggie Bolognese Pasta Bake

Every so often when I'm feeling a bit blah, I like to spend a ridiculous amount of time making extravagant meals for myself. So today I decided to make pasta with vegetarian bolognese, but then I decided that wasn't long and extravagant enough, so I went a step further and I covered it in cheese and baked it. And it tasted good.

If you desire to make this you will need: 200g fusilli pasta, a red pepper, a red onion, a courgette, a carrot, a clove of garlic, frozen Quorn mince, a tin of chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper, red wine, marmite, herbs, cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese.

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

2. Chop up your veggies.

3. Boil a pan of water and cook pasta according to the packs instructions, drain and set aside.

4. While the pasta's cooking, heat some olive oil in a large saucepan then add the vegetables and fry until they've softened a bit. Then add half the bag of Quorn mince. I'm not sure if Quorn mince is available everywhere but if you don't live in the UK you might be able to find an alternative, or you can use meaty mince if you're in to that, or no mince at all! Here's a nice little shot of my mince so you know what to look for...

5. Apparently it's the 'best ever mince' so that's got to be good. Stir for a minute then add the tin of chopped tomatoes, then fill the tin about half with water, swilling it around to get the tomato-ness off the sides, and add that too. Bring to the boil and turn down to a simmer, half cover with a lid and stir every so often.

6. Now's the bit where everyone has their own preferences, but I like to add a pinch of salt, a lot of pepper, a splash of red wine, a load of random mixed herbs and the secret ingredient... a teaspoon of marmite, although I think that's a standard thing now so not so much a secret ingredient...

7. Keep it simmering, stirring every so often and making sure it's not burning on the bottom, until the sauce is your desired thickness. I like it when there's pretty much no liquid but some people are liquidy people. Whatever you're feeling.

8. Once you're happy with the sauce stir in the pasta until it's all smooshed together and combined, and then tip it in to a baking tray and flatten it down on top. Then cover in as much cheese as you want, I used a nice little mix of cheddar and mozarella because I'm fancy or something, then whack it in your nicely prepared and preheated oven.

9. A cheeky little glimpse inside my oven how exciting. After about 20 minutes the cheese should be browning on top and sizzling, this is the exciting part when you get to take it out!

10. Now you may serve, if you want it to look like you put even more effort in you can bung some kind of salad leaf on the side (I went with rocket) and drizzle with olive oil... enjoy!

This serves 2 or 3 people so if you have friends you can give some to them, if not you can just eat it for every meal of one day. I'm not sure how long this took me but I'm pretty sure I watched 2 full episodes of Big Bang Theory in the process so about that long.

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