We had been having some spicy Indian meals lately so I decided that today we would make quick and easy pasta bake with tomato and white sauce. I have recipes in my blog for spicy pasta and simple penne pasta bake with tomato sauce but not with bechamel sauce.
Ingredients to serve 4 people
300 gram of Penne or Fusilli Pasta
500mls of Passata ( you can use tinned tomatoes but will need more as the sauce will not be as thick as Passata)
7-8 cloves of fresh garlic
2 green chillies
salt for the pasta sauce and one for the pasta.
Pepper to taste
2-3 cups of grated cheddar and mozarella cheese
1 teaspoon of oregano
sliced tomatoes for garnishing
For the béchamel sauce
1/3 cup plain white flour
1 teaspoon nutmeg
500mls milk at room temperature
2 tablespoons of butter
1. Add cold water, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons oil in a saucepan. Once the water boils, add the pasta. The water should cover the pasta completely.
2. Make for the red sauce:
a. Blend the passata, onions and garlic and heat the sauce.
b. Add the salt and pepper.
c. Once heated, let it simmer gently.
d. This basic sauce can be made ahead and frozen too to use anytime you cook pasta or spaghetti. If you like hot and spicy pasta, you can add fresh green chillies to the sauce. You can also add some vegetables to the sauce if you wish to.
3. Now prepare the béchamel sauce:
a. Heat the butter until it melts.
b. Now make the roux (rue) by adding the plain flour to the melted butter. Keep stirring the mixture constantly for about 5 minutes over low heat. The flour needs to be cooked well to get a good sauce.
c. Add in the milk (which should be at room temperature) slowly, turn the heat to medium and continue to stir the sauce until it begins to thicken. Now add in the nutmeg.
d. Your béchamel sauce is ready so switch off the heat.
4. Once the pasta has cooked, drain it and spread it an oven proof dish.
5. Spread the red sauce over the the pasta.
6. Spread the béchamel sauce over the red sauce.
7. Sprinkle some grated cheese on the white sauce.
8. Garnish with oregano, black pepper and sliced tomatoes
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