Fridge-raid pasta bake

Fridge-raid pasta bake

With a third of all food produced going to waste, it’s really important that we all do our bit to help tackle this problem. A ‘fridge-raid’ pasta bake is the perfect opportunity to use up whatever is in your fridge or cupboard.

 

This recipe is only a guide – use whatever you have that must be consumed before the expiry date. Your leftover pasta bake can also be frozen for up to three months, for a convenient ‘emergency meal’.

Preparation: 15 mins

Cooking: 20–30 mins

Serves: 4–6, depending on quantities used 

Difficulty: easy 

Fridge-raid pasta bake

Ingredients

Here are some ideas and rough quantities – use whatever you have!

 

  • 300–500g pasta (any shape)
  • 3–5 large handfuls of veg, cooked or raw (use frozen peas or similar if you don’t have enough fresh veg)
  • Any leftover cooked meat, chopped
  • Olive oil (for greasing)
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 50–100g hard cheese, grated

 

For the béchamel sauce:

  • 50g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 500ml milk
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Sprinkle of ground nutmeg

Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180°C fan/gas 6.
  2. Cook the pasta ‘al dente’ and drain in a colander.
  3. Roughly chop the vegetables and add to the pasta.
  4. Tip in the leftover meat and mix.
  5. Grease a large ovenproof dish with olive oil, before filling it with the pasta, meat and veggies.
  6. Add a sprinkling of mixed herbs and a bit of salt, and set aside.
  7. To prepare the béchamel sauce, start by melting the butter in a saucepan, gradually adding the flour. Keep stirring to avoid burning the roux.
  8. Add in the milk, a little at a time, while continuing to whisk to ensure a smooth consistency.
  9. Cook until the sauce has thickened, then season with the salt, cayenne pepper and nutmeg.
  10. Pour the sauce over the pasta mix, ensuring all the ingredients are covered, and scatter the grated cheese evenly over the whole dish.
  11. Bake for around 20–30 minutes, depending on whether you’re using cooked or raw vegetables, until the top is golden and crispy.

 

Serve with a side salad and garlic bread.

 

 

For a traditional Italian pasta dish, head over to our best-ever bolognese recipe.