Meatball & Edam pasta bake
This cheesy meatball and pasta bake makes a great midweek meal, perfect for all the family. The natural, mild taste of Dutch Edam means this pasta dish is a winner with the kids. Just serve with a crisp green salad.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: About 30 minutes
What you need:
- 30ml (2tbsp) olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 450g (1lb) lean minced beef
- 150g (5oz) Edam wedge, cut into small cubes
- 5ml (1tsp) dried oregano
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
- 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
- 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
- 5ml (1tsp) sugar
- 300g (10½oz) dried rigatoni or penne pasta
- 60ml (4tbsp) freshly shredded basil
- 1 x 200g tub low fat crème fraîche
What you do:
- Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion and garlic. Cover and sweat the onions over a medium heat for 4 minutes, until softened. Transfer half the onions to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the minced beef, 50g (2oz) of the Dutch Edam, oregano and egg to the onions in the bowl. Season well, then mix together. Shape into 20 small meatballs.
- Add the peppers and meatballs to the onions in the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the meatballs are lightly browned all over. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and sugar. Season and bring to the boil. Partially cover with a lid and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water according to pack instructions. Drain well and return to the pan to keep warm.
- Stir 45ml (3tbsp) of the basil into the tomato sauce, then stir in the drained pasta. Transfer to an ovenproof dish. Mix together the remaining Dutch Edam and basil with the crème fraîche and spoon over the pasta and meatballs. Cook under a preheated moderate grill for 6-7 minutes until golden and bubbling.
Handy cook's tip:
Add other vegetables that you may have in the fridge to the pasta to finish them off, like courgette or aubergine.
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Edam has 25% less fat than cheddar - which means everyone can indulge in lovely cheese without the consequences.
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