This is such an easy, cheap pasta bake recipe that uses every day ingredients, can be prepared in advance and has all the elements of a well balanced meal. It can be served all by itself or with a side salad and is great for using up leftover gammon or even substitute leftover chicken or pork. For other quick pasta recipes click here. This recipe serves 4 but can be easily adjusted to serve more as exact quantities of ingredients are not important for it to work.
- 250g whole wheat dry pasta
- Approx 1/2 head broccoli, chopped into bite sized florets (I chop the stalks and add them in too)
- 3 rashers back bacon (6 if using streaky), chopped into 1cm squares
- 3-4 slices of thick cut ham or gammon, chopped into cubes- here’s my Ultimate Baked Ham Recipe, far cheaper to bake your own than buy the sliced packs!!
- Large knob of butter
- 1 table spoon of plain flour
- 200ml milk (approx)
- 2 balls mozzarella, sliced (the really cheap ones are perfect- 50p at Tesco)
- Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions minus 1 minute. For whole wheat pasta, I would normally cook for 10 minutes but for this recipe only 9 as it will cook again when baked in the oven
- Chuck the broccoli into the pasta or place in a steamer on top for the final 5 minutes of cooking
- Drain the pasta/ broccoli and set to one side
- Mean while, melt the butter in a small saucepan on a low heat
- Add the flour and keep stirring- don’t panic, it is meant to look like this!
- Once the flour and butter are combined into a paste (a roux), add half the milk and keep stirring- don’t panic, the lumps will go, just keep stirring!!!
- As the sauce heats up, it will become smooth and begin to thicken, at this point, add the rest of the milk
- It might seem to go lumpy again, just keep stirring! You’ve made a basic béchamel sauce.
- When the sauce begins to bubble, time for 2 minutes (this ensures the flour is cooked) while continuing to stir
- In an oven proof dish, mix the pasta, broccoli, ham and sauce
- Top with the slices of mozzarella and bake at 180C for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and everything has warmed through
- While it’s baking, fry off the bacon until crispy and drain on kitchen paper
- Once assembled, this dish can be left to cool and then baked later. When baking from cold, cover (tin foil or oven-proof lid) and bake for 15 mins then remove cover for a further 5-10 minutes.
- Sprinkle over the crispy bacon pieces just before serving
Enjoy your Ham, Broccoli & Bacon Pasta Bake!!
The most popular Kid’s Tea Tuesdays recipes this week were:
- Cheesy Carrot, Courgette & Pea Fritter Stacks
- Easy Salmon & Sweet Potato Fish Cakes
- Beef & Lentil Beany Tacos
Why not give one a go this week and let me know how it goes down with your family?
Have you got a family favourite that you’d like to share? Click here to send in your recipe and I’ll post my favourites over the next few weeks!!
Click here for more quick, cheap and healthy dinner ideas and follow my blog for regular Kids Tea Tuesdays! xx