I’m sure you are familiar with the following scenario. You didn’t plan your meal, so you have no idea what to have for lunch. You start opening your cupboards frantically in search for a life-saver but there’s nothing to be seen. Then you open your fridge and it becomes your best friend. You find some bits and bobs which could work and let’s face it, you need to make something out of them or else they will go bad. That’s exactly the way this concoction came about.
Earlier this year a very dear friend of mine stayed with us for a few days. She travelled to London everyday. By the time she arrived back it would have already been late in the evening, tired as one would expect. After a day’s work there’s nothing better than a warm meal, especially when it’s rainy and cold I must add. J loves a good pasta bake too so I made this for all of us. It makes for a light meal, perfect if you’re having a late supper. Just don’t serve a crumble for dessert!
Or please do. I’m hungry!
You might think that for a little pasta bake my method has quite a lot of faff, but I really don’t mind it. And you know how impatient I can get. I will tell you though that it also works if you choose not to cook the onions and sweet potatoes beforehand. I have tried this too when I was in a bit of a hurry. Just prolong the baking time to around 25 to 30 minutes. Then add the greens and Gorgonzola just before serving. I might give today’s pizza a miss and cook this instead. It is delicious.
- 300g wholemeal fusilli (or penne)
- 2 onions, roughly chopped (optional)
- 6 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into bite-sized pieces
- 8 small dry sage leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (and more as needed to top things off)
- pinch salt
- pepper, to taste
- 6 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- some greens to serve (I used rucola)
- Gorgonzola, to serve
Line a roasting tin with parchment paper or kitchen foil, or grease it with a little olive oil. Set aside.
Boil the sweet potatoes for a few minutes, but don’t cook them through. Drain and put them in a large mixing bowl. If you decide to use the onions sweat them with a little olive oil in a shallow pan over medium heat, till they turn opaque and golden brown. Tip these in the bowl with the sweet potatoes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Cook the pasta as per packet instructions, preferably leave them al dente, or slightly undercooked. Place this in the same bowl with the cooked sweet potatoes. Add the sage, thyme, drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, mix the whole lot and tip this mixture into your prepared roasting tin.
Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top and bake for not more than 15 minutes.
When the pasta is out of the oven, add the rucola and serve with a few cubes of Gorgonzola on each individual serving.