Pasta bake is always a family favourite. This recipe, jam-packed with spinach and mushrooms, is healthy but will still be popular with the kids.
- 30-45ml (2-3tbsp) olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 225g (8oz) chestnut mushrooms, wiped and halved
- 100g (4oz) baby spinach leaves
- 225g (8oz) penne pasta
- 15g (½oz) butter
- 15g (½oz) plain flour
- 300ml (½pt) milk
- 75g (3oz) mature Cheddar cheese, finely grated
- 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
Heat half the oil in a large frying pan. Fry the garlic and mushrooms over a high heat until just browned, adding more oil if necessary. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the spinach.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of lightly salted water, according to the packet instructions, until just tender. Drain well and rinse under cold water.
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F, gas mark 5). Heat the butter in a pan, then stir in the flour and cook for 1 min. Gradually add the milk, whisking all the time. Simmer for 2-3 mins until thickened. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Stir the pasta into the cheese sauce and add the mushroom and spinach mixture. Spoon into a large ovenproof dish and top with tomatoes. Bake for 20-25 mins until golden and bubbling.
We’ve used this recipe in our credit crunch meal planner. Click here to go back to week 3 of the planner.
Add more vegetables to this recipe if you're struggling to get your five a day. Broccoli, sweetcorn or onions would all taste great.