Jamie's veggie bolognese pasta bake
Jamie says: "The secret to this veggie pasta bake is all in the base. Cooking down the onion, garlic and carrot until sweet, soft and golden will bring bags of flavour and ensure this batch-cook beauty goes the extra mile."
- Place a large, shallow casserole pan on a medium-low heat with 2 tablespoons of oil. Trim the carrots, peel the onion and finely chop it all, adding to the pan as you go. Add the frozen garlic and cook for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden and softened, stirring regularly.
- Reserve a handful of the frozen mushrooms and put aside for later to defrost. Turn the heat up to high, add the frozen mushrooms to the pan and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring regularly, until the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the lentils, (juices and all), the tomatoes and 1 tin’s worth of water, mashing it all up with a potato masher. Season to perfection, cover and leave to blip away for 50 minutes on a low heat, stirring regularly and adding splashes of water, if needed.
- With 10 minutes to go, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the fusilli for a couple of minutes less than the packet instructions, then drain, reserving a mugful of the starchy cooking water. Toss the pasta through the veggie Bolognese, loosening with a spoonful or two of reserved cooking water – you want it to be quite loose so that the pasta carries on cooking in the sauce in the oven.
- Tip into a 25cm x 30cm baking dish and finely grate over the Cheddar. Dab the reserved mushrooms with kitchen paper or a clean tea towel and lay on top. Pick the rosemary leaves (if using), toss in ½ a tablespoon of oil and lay on the top. Bake for 15 minutes, or until bubbling and crispy on top. Lovely served with a rocket salad.
Easy swaps: Use any pasta shapes you have in the cupboard (even odds and ends from different packets).
Tip: Portion up and freeze ready to bake in the oven when needed.
Freezing and defrosting guidelines
In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. Always defrost and heat thoroughly before eating. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.
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