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:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Drain and reserve.
- 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.
- 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.
- Turn out the heat, stir through half the cheese, the ham and chives. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- 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.
- Serve immediately, accompanied by a green salad.
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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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