Like many pasta bakes, this one is very versatile, and you can add or subtract ingredients as you like and it will still turn out delicious. Pasta bakes are also great for leftovers or freezing for future emergencies.
I got this recipe from “Step-by-Step: Quick & Easy”. I’ll share the recipe quantities that the original recipe called for, but to be honest when I make this I just throw in whatever amount I think will be good (I have a large family and the recipe quantities are never enough anyway).
• Oil for frying
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 300g ham, sliced into small chunks
• 600ml cream
• 300g mixed vegetables
[The original recipe calls for peas, but I prefer mixed veggies. Use whatever you like]
• 375g pasta [preferably pasta shells, but any shape will still get the job done]
• 3 tablespoons chopped basil, fresh or dried
• 250g (2 cups) grated cheese
• Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F
• If using frozen vegetables then boil the vegetables in a pot for five minutes, then drain.
• Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until cooked. Drain and return to the saucepan.
• Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over medium heat and cook the onion for five minutes, or until soft.
• Add another half-tablespoon of oil and the ham, and cook for a further minute.
• Pour the cream into the pan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for six minutes.
• Add the vegetables and cook for a further 2-4 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced and thickened slightly. Season with pepper if desired.
• Add the cream sauce to the pasta, then the basil and three-quarters of the cheese. Stir well and season.
• Transfer the mixture to a greased ovenproof ceramic dish, and sprinkle on the remaining cheese.
• Bake for 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.