Savoury vegetarian pasta bake

By Clodagh McKenna
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Say hello to the ultimate vegetarian-friendly main that will please everyone at the table. It doesn't get easier than a one-pot pasta bake!

SERVES
4
 TO
5
TOTAL TIME

Ingredients

  • 200 grams pasta shells, (I use conchiglie but you can also use penne or macaroni)
  • Olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 large eggplant, diced
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 teaspoons capers, rinsed
  • 12 basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 1 lemon, zest
  • 55 grams butter, melted
  • 100 grams whole almonds, roughly chopped
  • 100 grams panko breadcrumbs
  • 85 grams Dubliner cheddar, finely grated
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350°F / gas mark four.
  2. Place a saucepan of water over a high heat and bring to the boil, season with sea salt. When the water is boiling, reduce to simmer and stir in the pasta shells. After five minutes, when the pasta is still al dente, remove from the heat and drain the pasta.
  3. Place a skillet or frying pan over a medium heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil, followed by adding the garlic and onions and cook for three minutes. Then add the eggplant and cook for a further three minutes.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes, capers and pasta and mix until all the ingredients have combined in the pan.
  5. Mix together the finely grated cheddar, chopped almonds, melted butter and breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top of the pasta until it’s completely covered.
  6. Put the pasta into the oven for about 15 minutes or until the top is bubbling and crispy.

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