Easy Cheesy Healthy Bolognese Pasta Bake

  I’m quite adept at coming up with ideas to use up leftovers & I had leftover mince, cheese & thyme from last night’s dinner so this is what was made. I always have a few staples & tinned plum tomatoes always inhabit my larder so this was a very easy healthy & quite a filling choice. Pasta is always my go to comfort food, it’s extremely versatile & incredibly satisfying to the tummy. Bolognese is always so packed with flavour & tasty be it served with spaghetti & cheese or baked in the oven in this gorgeous pasta bake. This serves 4 hungry people at 10pp a portion (1pp on F&H). Dinner is sorted! Here’s the Skinny:   400g Lean 5% Fat Beef Steak Mince

1 Onion Finely Diced

2 Large Carrots Finely Diced

2 Sticks of Celery Finely Diced

1 Red Pepper Diced

1 Clove of Garlic Crushed

2 Tins of Plum Tomatoes

1 Tbsp Tomato Purée 

1 Tsp Dried Oregano

A Few Spigs Fresh Thyme Leaves 

A Handful of Fresh Basil 

Salt & Black Pepper 

240g Dried Pasta Shapes

30g Reduced Fat Grated Cheddar

30g Reduced Fat Grated Mozzarella  Start by making the Bolognese sauce, this is not difficult in the slightest but it does require time to simmer down & thicken into a glossy flavour filled sauce otherwise the sauce will be watery & not as flavoursome. Heat a large pot over a medium heat & spray with oil. Add the onion & fry for approximately 5 minutes until softening. Add in the carrots, pepper & celery & fry for a further 5 minutes. Add the mince & cook until browned through. Add the garlic & cook for a further minute. Add in the tomatoes chopping them with a sharp knife once in the pot. Add the purée, the rest of the herbs (except the basil) & salt & pepper. Cook over a medium low heat uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour stirring occasionally until the Bolognese is thick & glossy. Meanwhile prepare the pasta according to packet instructions in a large pot of salted boiling water.   Just before adding to the bake tear the basil leaves into the bolognese & stir through. Place the cooked pasta shapes & Bolognese in an ovenproof dish & top with the grated cheese. Place in a preheated oven at 180c for about 30 minutes. Serve & enjoy!  

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