Between college, work and attempting to keep some kind of personal / social life going! I have been heavily relying on easy to throw together meals recently. They are even better if they can be made in one dish. Creating less washing up! This One Dish Oven Baked Tomato Cheese Pasta, has become a bit of a life saver of late. Quick and easy to make. It can be easily adapted to what you have in the fridge and it has melted cheese in it!!! Three different kinds of tomatoes are complimented by two kinds of cheese, with plenty of herbs for flavour. So what more could you ask for in a cosy warming Autumnal meal?
Cheese & Tomato.
This is a classic flavour combination, and one that is hard to go wrong with. Add a few herbs and a touch of oil and you have the perfect base for a simple pasta dish. By any means add a protein to this if you are a meat eater but I find the simple ingredients to perfectly compliment each other.
We have two kinds of cheese, mozzarella and mature (sharp) cheddar. Mozzarella has a lovely mild and creamy flavour to it and it goes all gooey when melted whereas the cheddar has a stronger more pronounced flavour. The two combine perfectly.
For the tomatoes we have three different kinds, chopped tinned plum tomatoes, fresh cherry tomatoes and passata. Passata should be made from the San Marzano tomato. Here is an amusing article on Passata by Rose Prince from The Telegraph, with a more in-depth look at passata and how it is made for those interested.
We have lots of fresh and dried herbs for flavour. Fresh basil and flat leaf parsley and some dried oregano. Some garlic granules and of course a little fresh onion. I also added in some fresh baby spinach leaves, they are are good source of iron and fibre so they are an all round win.
The great thing about this dish is its a dump and go meal. It then all goes in one dish. It is covered with tin foil, then it goes in the oven. Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes and serve. Its ridiculously simple to make the one dish oven baked tomato cheese pasta.
- 200 grams macaroni pasta (1 and ½ cups)
- 400 grams tinned chopped tomatoes (14 ounces)
- 10 cherry tomatoes - halved
- 1 medium white onion - sliced
- 1 medium red onion - sliced
- 250 grams passata (1 cup)
- 80 millilitres water (1/3 cup)
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil - chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh flat leafed parsley - chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic granules
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 65 grams baby spinach leaves (2 and ¼ ounces)
- 130 grams mozzarella cut into strips (4 and ¼ ounces)
- 60 grams grated mature cheddar (1 cup)
- Preheat your oven to 200C / 400F / Gas mark 6 and lightly grease a large oven proof dish, then place to one side.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl add in the pasta, tinned tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sliced onion, passata, water, herbs, seasoning and baby spinach leaves and gently mix everything together.
- Pour half of this mix into your oven proof dish.
- Sprinkle half of your sliced mozzarella over the mix then cover with the remaining pasta mix.
- Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and the cheddar over the top and cover with tin foil.
- Pop this into your hot oven for 30 minutes.
- After this time remove the foil and continue cooking for a further 10 - 15 minutes. You are looking for the cheese to start to turn golden and most of the liquid to have been absorbed by the pasta.
- Take your dish out of the oven and serve.
- Any left-overs can be stored in the fridge once cool and must be eaten within 3 days. Reheat in a microwave for a few minutes or enjoy cold.