This is my British-style version of an Italian dish. I apologise to all Italians!
Ingredients for two people
a ball of mozzarella (about )
tin chopped tomatoes (about )
knife and board for chopping
spoon for stirring
colander or sieve (optional)
time in oven: 15-20 mins
part cooking the pasta
- Put the in the saucepan. Cover with water. Heat until boiling, then turn down as low as possible, and cook for about half the time you normally do. Drain the pasta.
- Cut the mozzarella into pieces. Open the tin of tomatoes.
- Mix the half-cooked pasta, tomato and mozzarella in a baking dish. It should be a jumble rather than in layers.
- Grate cheese on top. It should be Parmesan, of course, but I prefer Cheddar. How much is up to you. I do quite a bit.
- Put the baking dish (without a lid) into the oven and cook until the top is brown. It's a hot oven, so check the pasta isn't burning. If a little of the pasta is sticking through the cheese on top, it might get crispy, but it doesn't seem to matter.
- There are many different types of pasta. I think this recipe works best with pieces of chunky pasta, like Penne, but you can experiment. I'm not sure how you measure dried pasta using cups (if that is your preferred measuring method), since the shapes vary so much. Use the amount that seems right to you, and if you get it wrong, remember, and change it next time!
- I add a small tin of anchovies, chopped up, with its oil to the mix. This stops it being vegetarian, of course, and makes it saltier as well.
- This recipe uses a tin of chopped tomatoes. You want something fairly sloppy. Tomato paste would be too thick, but you could add some water. Or you could use real tomatoes. If you do, I suggest using tomatoes with a good flavour, and well-ripened, and cook them before starting, so they achieve the correct sloppiness level. You could add garlic or onions or any other flavouring as well, or even use some type of pasta tomato sauce. Experiment!
You can certainly use some herbs
- You can add some herbs for flavouring. Basil is a popular Italian herb.
© Jo Edkins 2012 -