You may have seen in news paper articles and on social media about how food giant Mars has announced it will be labelling some of its sauces as for ‘occasional’ rather than ‘everyday’ use due to the high fat, sugar and salt content some of these sauces contain. The newspaper articles I have been reading have been focusing mainly on the Dolmio sauces but of course if you check some of the jarred sauces you may have in your cupboard, whatever brand it may be, you may be as shocked as I was and it is of course a good thing that Mars are making this move. I love a pasta bake for a quick dinner and never think to check the label just assuming that a vegetable base sauce must be healthy.
Last night for dinner we had a simple pasta bake made with a homemade sauce. We called it ‘Pizza Pasta’ as it looked a bit like pizza once it came out of the oven. I made enough for 2 adults, 3 children and enough left over for my 2 year old and I to have a portion each for lunch today. Here’s how I made it
You will need
750g of pasta shells
3 tins of Italian chopped tomatoes
3 Echalion shallots
About 5 basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
How to make the pasta bake
Boil the pasta in a pot of boiling water.
Heat 4 table spoons of olive oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat.
Peel and finely chop the shallots and gently heat in the frying pan with the olive oil. You do not want to brown the shallots just gently fry them for a few minutes.
Add the 3 tins of chopped tomatoes into the frying pan, add a pinch of salt and pepper and heat on high whilst stirring for 5 minutes.
Finely chop the basil leaves into the sauce (I just cut them with scissors straight into the pan) and heat for a further 2 minutes.
Using a blender, blend the sauce until it is smooth.
Place the cooked pasta into a large oven proof dish and stir in the sauce until all of the pasta is covered.
Tear the mozzarella into small pieces and place any way you like on top of your pasta.
Bake in the over for about 10 minutes.
If you will not use any of the left over pasta bake the next day or you are not using as much pasta you could freeze the left over sauce for a quick meal another day or it is lovely heated on its own as a soup.
If you use a freezer bag to freeze the sauce a good little tip is to rub some oil all over the inside of the bag before you add the sauce. When you come to reheat the sauce it should slip out of the bag easily.