Cheesy Pasta Bake
This pasta bake is cheesy, creamy, crunchy and savoury all at the same time. It serves four but several of us have been caught eating a whole tray on our own.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 white onion, finely diced
1 tsp chilli flakes
8 sundried tomatoes, chopped
50g tomato paste
700g passata (we love biona’s passata rustica)
1/2 tsp salt
100g vegan mozzarella, diced (optional but recommended)
Preheat your oven to 180˚C. In a heavy set pot, sauté the diced white onion in 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, until translucent. Add the chilli flakes and sundried tomatoes, and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
Add the tomato paste and cook until it is browning and sticking to the bottom of the pot (this deepens its flavour), followed by the passata, salt and 100 ml water. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
In the meantime, cook the rigatoni until aldente - for about 2 minutes less than instructed on the pack (it will continue cooking in the oven).
Once the pasta is cooked, drain and transfer to the sauce and stir. Taste for salt and season according to taste.
Spread half of the breadcrumbs onto the bottom of a baking dish, followed by the pasta. Top evenly with mozzarella cubes and remaining breadcrumbs.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese has melted and top is golden. Remove from oven and drizzle with olive oil. Serve hot!
by Valentina Concordia
Valentina is our Food Editor, who dreams up our tasty dishes and recipes for our social channels. She has loads of experience cooking up a storm in Italian kitchens, so it’s no surprise she can’t live without good-quality olive oil (don’t come between her and her olive oil) and fresh pasta.