This week I decided to change tack where #sundaybakingsunday was concerned. I’ve gone off sweet, and on to savoury.
I’m still working my way through the delicious brownies I made last weekend, then I baked a loaf of banana bread mid-week, so I really had no need of anything else sweet tempting me.
As some of you may know, I’m currently looking for a job, which means I have to watch my budget carefully. I decided to whip up a vegetarian pasta bake, which will last me three or four meals, and is tasty, healthy and affordable.
The stars of the show are sweet potato, broccoli, and cannellini beans. With the bean police chorus of ‘eat more legumes’ ringing loudly in my ears, I decided to chuck a tin of cannellini beans into my bake and see if I liked it. I really did, and reckon this is a great, simple way to to get more beans in your belly, aside from via ye olde baked beans on toast.
The pasta bake is really easy to put together.
Peel and chop a sweet potato, douse it with garlic olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for about 20 minutes in a moderate oven.
I’m a big fan of frozen broccoli, as it prevents wastage. About 1/3 of a pack of broccoli (just use as much as you like) goes into this dish, and here’s my tip on prepping it – once the pasta water is almost boiling, I grab a trusty sieve (there’s a great word) and throw the broccoli into that and sit in in the water for about 2 minutes. I don’t want to cook it all the way through, just get it to an easily choppable state.
So, once the sweet potato is baked, the broccoli is chopped, and the beans are rinsed, it’s just a matter of cooking up your favourite shape of pasta. I’m loving ‘little ears’ orecchiette at the moment. Once the prep is done, just combine those delicious things in a lasagna or other suitably ovenproof dish, pour over a jar of pasta bake sauce (I rocked Leggo’s creamy tomato and mozzarella), combine it well, season it – I chose chilli flakes, basil, salt and pepper, then sprinkle the dish with some cheese, bung in in a 200 degree oven for 20 minutes and Giuseppe’s your uncle.
1 sweet potato – peeled, diced and baked
1 head broccoli – chopped
1 can cannellini beans – rinsed well
200g dried pasta – cooked to just under al dente
1 jar pasta bake sauce (you could always make your own if you’ve got the time)
seasonings of your choice – chilli flakes, basil etc
a handful of Parmesan cheese or whatever takes your fancy
Following the method outlined above, I reckon it’s no more than 10-15 minutes of prep, plus 20 minutes baking time, to give you get a great, family friendly meal – or half a week’s worth of single lady dinners!
Pour yourself a glass of wine, watch 1/2 an episode of House Of Cards and dinner will be ready.
What’s your go-to baked savoury dish?
I’d love you to share it, post a picture of it and join the #sundaybakingsunday brigade on Instagram or the I Give You The Verbs Facebook page.
Now, where’s my fork?