When I’m feeling organised I do a pasta bake on nights when the children have swimming. This meal does have a slightly high washing up count but can be made in advance and re-heated when the children come in late and famished.

I have two which I do over and over: Salmon pasta bake and Tomato pasta bake.

Salmon pasta bake

As well as being delicious this is also extremely economic – I can feed two children with one fillet of salmon.

Ingredients:

  • pasta
  • salmon
  • milk
  • broccoli
  • leek
  • mascarpone cheese
  • breadcrumbs
  • grated cheddar

Boil the pasta, throw in the broccoli florets for the last couple of minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, gently fry some chopped leek in a little butter. Do not allow it to brown.

Put the salmon in a little milk, cover, and microwave for about a minute.

Combine the pasta, broccoli and leeks in the pan whilst still warm and stir in the mascarpone. Add the salmon (try to keep it in largish chunks.)

Put into a baking dish, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and grated cheddar.

Put under a grill to brown.

Tomato pasta bake

I sometimes have this as a side-dish to fish cakes, but more often allow it to sit by itself.

Ingredients:

  • pasta
  • onions
  • mushrooms
  • courgettes
  • any other vegetable
  • tinned tomatoes or passata 
  • mascarpone
  • breadcrumbs
  • grated cheddar

Boil and drain the pasta.

In the meantime whizz the vegetables together in a food processor (I usually keep some mushrooms to one side and slice rather than disguise them, just for texture).

Fry the vegetables, add the tomatoes, and finally the mascarpone.

Mix it in with the cooked pasta and transfer to a baking dish.

Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and grated cheese. Whack it under the grill until golden. 

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