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Tasty Pasta Bake

by Catherine Van Bergen (follow)
Easy (2874)      Cheese (387)      Pasta (281)      Pasta Bake (7)     
You don't have to be Italian to love a good pasta dish, and luckily there are plenty of those around. This pasta bake uses tasty cheese on top to create a lovely texture.

This recipe is perfect for people of all ages and can be adapted to suit people of all tastes (coeliacs need only change the pasta to a gluten-free variety and vegetarians can omit the meat in the sauce). Serve with a green salad and this meal is sure to be a hit.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Makes: 6 servings

400g (approx) trivelle pasta (you can also use spirals, penne or any other type of pasta)
500g beef mince
1 large brown onion
400g can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup grated tasty cheese
Cheese Sauce

Cheese Sauce Ingredients:
20g butter
1 1/2 tablespoons plain flour
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons grated tasty cheese
1/4 teaspoon mustard (optional)

Preheat oven to 200⁰C
Lightly grease a large lasagna dish. I use one that is approximately 30cm x 20cm.
Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling water according to the instructions on the packet. Add salt to taste. Once the pasta is cooked al dente, drain well.

Heat some oil in a large saucepan, then add the mince beef.
Chop the onion into fine pieces, then add into the saucepan with the meat.

Cook until the meat is browned, then add diced tomatoes, tomato paste and nutmeg.
Stir the ingredients together, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, you will need to prepare the cheese sauce. You can do this using a small saucepan on the stovetop or by using your microwave. I prefer to use the microwave because it is much faster.
Melt the butter. It should take approximately 1 minute on high for the butter to melt properly. Add the flour.
Cook on medium power for 30 seconds.
Add milk gradually to the mixture, stirring continuously.
Once all the milk has been added, mix in 3 tablespoons of grated tasty cheese. You may also add some mustard if you want, to give the cheese sauce a little bit of extra flavour.
Place the mixture back into the microwave and cook for 1 minute on high power.
Stir the mixture and cook for a further 1 and 1/2 minutes on high. Leave the cheese sauce to sit for a moment.

Take the cooked pasta and add it to the saucepan holding the meat sauce. Stir the contents of the pot until everything is combined and the pasta is completely covered in sauce.
Transfer the pasta and sauce into the previously prepared lasagna dish. Pour the cheese sauce over the top of the pasta until it is covered, then sprinkle grated tasty cheese over the entire dish. In the ingredients list, I said to use 1 cup of grated cheese, but you can use much more (or less) if you prefer.

Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until golden.
When the pasta bake is cooked, leave to sit for approximately 5 minutes, then serve.

#Pasta Bake
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