Chyka's Cheesy Pasta Bake
I’m going to go a little old school today and share with you one of my families favourite meals.
It's a super simple pasta bake! For a meal that takes no time at all, that can use up all those leftover ingredients in the fridge, and one that the whole family can tuck into - you seriously cannot go wrong. It’s getting a little colder as we finally start feeling some autumnal weather, and I am starting to crave that warm, hearty comfort food. Whether it be a good old mac and cheese or bacon and egg miss mash, the most critical piece of equipment for the feast is a ceramic bakeware.
I was lucky enough to be given an assortment of baking dishes in assorted sizes from Provincial Home Living and I have been baking ever since! This range is called Blanc and I just can't stop using their large Lasagna dish (which also comes in a medium size). I have both sizes because I love the way they work together for both a hot dish and salad. I think sometimes we use certain dishes for particular food, salads in the salad bowl, sweet treats on a platter and so on. It's time top mix it up! Go to the back of your cupboard and bring out what you have and let's see them. Rotate your crockery, rotate your silverware - make the most of everything you have.
As I have been travelling so much lately, whipping up a simple bake has been all I can muster some nights. A simple pasta bake that always brings a smile to my face is this cheesy ensemble, it a tried and true Keebaugh favourite. I like to add some rashers of bacon just because bacon gives that little salty hit, whip up a simple salad of iceberg lettuce, cucumber & parmesan on the side and you are done. Enjoy!
- 2 cups of short pasta, such as macaroni or penne
- Sea salt
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teasp minced garlic
- 6 rashers of bacon, diced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups milk
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (12 ounces)
- 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)
- 3 cups very coarse fresh breadcrumbs
- Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water 1-2mins less than package instructions. Drain, rinse with cool water, and return to pot.
- Melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a fry pan and fry your diced bacon and garlic until crispy. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat 3 1/2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook and whisk for 1 minute.
- Add milk, nutmeg, and two teaspoons of salt; bring to a simmer. Cook and whisk until the mixture for 2-3mins or until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Whisk in cheeses until smooth. Pour over pasta and toss to coat. Pour in bacon mix and toss to coat. Pour into bakeware.
- Melt remaining two tablespoons of butter; toss with breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over pasta.
- Preheat oven to 230c. Cover with foil. Bake until bubbling, 60-70mins for large dishes, 40-50mins for small dishes. Remove foil and continue baking until golden, 5-10 mins more.