It’s been over a week since lent started and I’m doing pretty well being meat free so far. On Wednesday evening it was tempting to eat some of the skin from a cooked chicken when my sister and father had roast chicken for dinner while I had two stuffed mushrooms. Besides that I’ve been fine. I managed to get round to actually cooking something vegetarian on Thursday evening, because I’ve not had the chance to most evenings and my mother has been cooking most of the time.
I made a pasta bake, jam packed with vegetables and topped with grated cheddar cheese. There were lots of vegetables in the fridge to choose from, so I cooked them altogether in a big pan. I used red onions, garlic, some fresh cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms and also some beans which needed using up (I can’t remember beans they were, but I had some leftover from a salad). I also added a tin of chopped tomatoes, a pint of water and a tablespoon of tomato puree. For some extra flavour, I added a pinch of mixed herbs and two bay leaves.
While the vegetable concoction was simmering, I cooked up some pasta. I was tempted to make a lasagne but there wasn’t enough lasagne sheets There was lots of other types of pasta in the cupboard; I found a bag of multicoloured shell pasta. It was more than tri-coloured, there were lots of different colours and flavours in this bag of dry pasta, including spinach and beetroot. I cooked the pasta for about 5 minutes.
After draining the pasta I stirred it well into the vegetable mixture, then poured it all into two baking dishes. I then added a generous sprinkling of cheddar cheese and put in the oven at gas mark 4 for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese was golden.
I really enjoyed this pasta bake. I must say that it is the tastiest pasta bake I’ve made so far. There was so much flavour, including a rich tomato flavour from using fresh and tinned tomatoes, as well as tomato puree. All of the vegetables worked well together, and the herbs added even more flavour as well. I put the left over pasta into containers in the freezer, so I now have future lunches/dinners for the remaining period of lent. I’m looking forward to the next time I have more of this vegetable pasta bake, especially once it’s been defrosted and cooked, as food that’s been frozen tends to taste better (my favourite example of this has to be lasagne!).
Happy reading and blogging!
Clare Bear 🙂