Thursday, 17 November 2016

Baked Casserole

Baked Casserole- One Pot Meal - Pasta Bake
 Winters have suddenly arrived early this year which means early fresh veggies and fruits, which also means a few more days of good, healthy ingredients. The foodie in me has gala time browsing through fresh seasonal produce and fruits like big juicy oranges and ripe plump figs have become a staple at my breakfast table.

This nippy weather is my absolute favourite primarily because we live in forever summer kinda land. If I could I would bottle up these cozy days filled with snugly blankets, hot beverages and comfy jeans...

Cooler days call for warm comforting foods like hot bowls of soup, freshly made cocoa milk or this hearty one pot baked casserole.

The salivating aromas of grated cheese under the broiler being browned to perfection would often greet me on my return form tutions on days like these, on days when my mother would make this baked dish and stuff it with varied veggies along side a double dose of succulent sausages. Had with freshly toasted garlic bread, my father and I would then grin like Cheshire cats before slipping off into a land of dreams with smiling faces and stuffed bellies.

Though baked casseroles can be made with a variety of ingredients, the base sauces are usually white roux, brown onion or red tomato.

The recipe I'm sharing today is a mix of my favourite ingredients and slightly different from my mum's veggie packed pot, I prefer an assortment of mushrooms, corn and sausages with soft pasta, if in season I like to add in broccoli for an added crunch as well. Feel free to mix and match and create your own unique masterpiece.

Serves 4

You will need:

For the white sauce
2 tbsps all purpose flour (maida)
2 tbsps butter
1 1/2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste

For the bake
1 cup white mushrooms
1/2 cup sweet corn
1 1/2 cups diced sausages
1/2 cup pasta of choice
200 gms grated mozzarella or any processed cheese of your choice
1/4 tsp mixed dried herbs
1/4 cup broccoli florets
Salt and pepper to season
Garlic bread to serve.


For the white sauce
Melt the butter in a saucepan.
Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and gradually stir in the milk to get a smooth sauce. Return to heat and stirring all the time, bring to the boil.
Simmer gently for 8-10 minutes and season with salt and white pepper.

For the bake
Start by pre boiling the sweet corn, saute the mushrooms in 1 tsp oil till they ooze out all their liquid, steam the broccoli for 5 - 7 mins till a knife an cut through easily.

Cook the pasta according to pack instructions, drain and keep aside.

Saute sausages that have peen chopped 1 inch thick in a little oil till they are slightly golden in colour.

Toss all the ingredients together and lightly season with salt, pepper and mixed herbs.

Next gradually mix in all the meat pasta and vegetables into the prepared white sauce.

Pour into a baking dish and grate your favourite cheese on top.

Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 to 25 mins or till the cheese turns a rich golden brown.

Serve with Garlic bread on the side.


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