OK. I have to admit it – today is not my day. I feel miserable, I’m in pain, I can’t stand any more Paracetamol, I have worn my pajamas all day long and the only good thing I managed to do is to cook a pasta dish. I hope tomorrow is a bright new day and my energy is back and my cheerful nature is restored! But before it happens, please enjoy my simple pasta bake.
This dish is good for a quick, full of flavour supper and to save your wallet, eat the leftovers next day for lunch.
You will need:
250 g Casareccia or Penne (preferably De Cecco)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 can of chopped plum tomatoes
1 pinch of chili flakes
1 teaspoon of dry Italian herbs (mix)
1 fresh sage leaf
1 small handful of fresh basil leaves
2 thyme springs, leaves picked
5 sun-dried-tomatoes in oil, chopped
1 handful of sliced black olives
salt & peper
1 mozzarella ball, diced
2 tablespoons of finely grinded parmesan
Preheat oven to 200 ℃.
To make the tomato sauce: gently fry the onion, garlic, celery, chili and dry herbs. Add tomatoes and fresh herbs; finally add the sun-dried-tomatoes, 1/2 cup of water and bring to boil. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Add the olives and season the sauce with salt & pepper.
While the sauce is cooking, cook your pasta in plenty of salted boiling water according to the package instructions.
Lightly grease the baking dish with olive oil or butter. Pour 3 tablespoons of the sauce and spread on the bottom of of the dish. Add the cooked pasta and pour the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the top and decorate with a few fresh basil leaves. Finally sprinkle everything with Parmesan. Serve hot with a slice of ciabata.