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Creamy pasta bake with beetroot & smoked ham

Creamy pasta bake with beetroot & smoked ham

Pasta bakes are a great mid-week dinner because they're delicious, easy to cook and need hardly any preparation!

  • Preparation: 20 mins
  • Cooking: 20 mins
  • Serves: 4

What you need:

  • 375g dried pasta shapes, e.g. conchiglie, fusilli or penne
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 450ml milk
  • 150ml double cream (or use extra milk for a less rich option)
  • 150g gruyere or mature cheddar, grated
  • 200g piece smoked ham, torn into shreds
  • Small bunch chives, snipped
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 500g cooked beetroot (2 packs), cut into 1cm cubes

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Drain and reserve.
  3. Set a heavy based saucepan over a low heat, sweat the onion in the butter for 10-15 minutes until it starts to soften. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute before stirring through the flour.
  4. Pour in milk and cream, and bring up to the boil, stirring constantly until thickened. Simmer steadily for 2-3 minutes to cook the flour.
  5. Turn out the heat, stir through half the cheese, the ham and chives. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Stir through the cooked pasta and beetroot and spoon into a baking dish. Scatter over the rest of the cheese and bake for about 20 mins golden brown and bubbling.
  7. Serve immediately, accompanied by a green salad.

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lovebeetroot

lovebeetroot

Beetroot is enjoying something of a revival as people discover there’s more to this great British vegetable than they thought. You can now buy beetroot in so many different ways – raw, cooked, marinated, lightly pickled - there’s so much to beetroot than the jar of pickled beetroot many of us will remember from our childhood.

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