Meatball pasta bake

After takeaways and ready meals… pasta bakes are a popular choice for student dinners. It’s simple stuff, a good filler, comfort food and not bad as leftovers the next day too! This one is elevated to the next level by merging it with another classic… meatballs!

1 large white onion
2 cloves of garlic
beef mince (500g)
1 tsp of Dijon mustard
splash of Worcestershire sauce
handful of chopped rosemary
handful of grated parmesan cheese
splash of olive oil
1 tbsp of tomato puree
glug of red wine (optional)
2 tins of chopped tomato or passata
glass of beef stock (300ml)
pinch of sugar
fusilli pasta (300g)
handful of chopped fresh basil
2 handfuls of cheddar cheese

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preheat oven to 180°C.

peel and chop the onion and grate the peeled garlic.

mix the beef mince with half of the onion and garlic.

chuck in the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, parmesan and season.

roll nto golf ball sizes onto a plate, cling film and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes if you have the time... makes it easier but isn’t essential.

fry the rest of the onion in a shot of oil for a few minutes and then add the garlic.

stir for a few minutes and then add the tomato puree and red wine to reduce.

tip in the chopped tomatoes, beef stock, sugar and season with salt and pepper then simmer for 20 minutes.

cook the pasta in boiling salted water until just cooked, then drain and toss in oil.

take the meatballs out of the fridge.

place in hot frying pan with a splash of oil to colour the outside of the meatballs.

add the balls to the tomato sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.

put the pasta in a large deep tray and add meatballs and sauce.

rip some basil over the top and mix so that all the pasta is coated in the sauce.

sprinkle with cheddar and bake in oven until the topping is golden - approximately 20 minutes.

serves 4

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