Classic ragù and mozzarella pasta bake
- March 2018
- Serves 4-6
- Hands-on time 45 min, Oven time 25 min
Try this twist on a bolognese for a dinner that will feed the whole family – with leftovers to spare! The secret to a good pasta bake? Plenty of sauce and a crispy, crunchy topping.
Make it veggie by whipping up our vegetable bolognese sauce instead.
- 17.8g (8.7g saturated
- 51.6g (9.3g sugars)
- 400g lean British beef mince
- Glug olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
- 2 red onions, chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 celery stick, finely chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 200ml red wine
- 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 250g large pasta shells
- 250g ball mozzarella, torn into pieces
- 100g fresh breadcrumbs
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- Handful fresh oregano, chopped
- 30g parmesan, grated
- A few fresh basil leaves to scatter
You’ll also need…
- 2 litre ovenproof baking dish
- Heat a large saucepan or sauté pan and brown the mince over a high heat for 10 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate and set aside. Add a little oil to the pan if necessary, lower the heat and fry the onions, carrot and celery with a pinch of salt, covered, for 10-12 minutes until soft but not coloured. Stir every so often.
- Add the bay leaves to the pan and stir in the cooked mince along with another pinch of salt and a good grinding of black pepper. Add the wine and bubble for a couple of minutes, then pour in the tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer the sauce for 25 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 and fill a large pan with freshly boiled water from the kettle. Add a good pinch of salt and bring to a rolling boil. Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the pack instructions, then drain loosely.
- Arrange the pasta shells in the baking dish and spoon over the bolognese sauce, making sure the pasta shells are filled. Dot over the mozzarella.
- Mix together the breadcrumbs, garlic, oregano and a drizzle of oil, then scatter over the pasta and top with the parmesan. Bake for 25 minutes or until oozing, golden and crisp on top. Scatter with the basil leaves and serve.
If you’re feeding vegetarian guests make a veggie bolognese sauce and use that instead of the meaty one; and swap the parmesan at the end for a vegetarian hard grating cheese.
Assemble the bake up to 2 days ahead and keep covered in the fridge until ready to cook, adding an extra 10-15 minutes to the oven time. Or make the sauce and freeze in a sealed food bag for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge before using.
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