How much does it cost? This recipe cost me less than 50p per person.
What are the benefits? This simple pasta bake is suitable for vegetarians, is low in fat and is high in fibre.
Using only three main ingredients to make a proper family dinner is tough! It was tricky coming up with something that would 1) fill everyone up, 2) taste great, and 3) stick to the three ingredient rule. But I think I’ve cracked it!
What I love about pasta is that it’s so versatile, and that’s been proven once again with this dish. Using just a carton of passata and a ball of light mozzarella to go with it, this pasta bake couldn’t get any simpler; you just need a dash of seasoning to bring it to life! 🌿
I prefer using a ball of light mozzarella; the price difference is minimal (only 4p in my local supermarket!) so I’d recommend doing the same if you’re trying to make this a healthier pasta bake. Using low fat mozzarella, wholewheat pasta and a whole carton of passata, split between four people, comes to less than 30p per person – result!
280g Wholewheat Pasta
1 Ball of Mozzarella (reduced fat if possible)
This is a very basic recipe using only three ingredients so, of course, you want to use lots of seasoning to really make the most of what you’ve got. Stir in with the pasta and sauce a hefty crack of black pepper, a good pinch of salt, a good dose of dried garlic flakes and plenty of dried mixed herbs.
So, this is how I did it…
1. Cook pasta in a pan of salted boiling water according to packet instructions (usually 10 – 15 minutes) and drain once cooked.
2. Pour the passata in with the drained pasta, season really well and stir altogether until the sauce smothers the pasta.
3. Pour the pasta and sauce into an ovenproof dish, top with torn mozzarella (make sure you’ve drained and dried the mozzarella otherwise it’ll be very watery!) until the pasta is pretty much covered with a layer of mozzarella. Bake at 180°C for 15 minutes.
Tips & Tricks
- Drain the mozzarella! Otherwise you’ll end up with pools of water in your pasta. I drain mine by tipping all excess liquid from the packet and then wrapping the ball in kitchen towel and leaving it to dry out for at least 15 minutes.
- If you want to make this go even further, stir a small glass of water into the passata before pouring it into the bake. The sauce will be thinner, but it will stretch to serve more people.
- You can use a different base sauce if you wanted to make a variation on this recipe. Chopped tomatoes work well, with a pinch of sugar to reduce the acidity, while heavily seasoned crème fraîche would probably make something of a “creamy” sauce.