Ham and Tomato Pasta Bake

I really can’t say a great deal about this one except that I made it up as I went along one evening in August of 2018. It is neither original nor innovative, but there are a couple of minor tweaks that I have not included in such a dish before. It turned out really well, so it is worth recording. It is also something that can be put together and put aside until you are ready to cook, and it keeps well for 2-3 days in the fridge if covered with cling film, so you can make the whole batch, eat some tonight and leave the rest for tomorrow or Friday night..

 

Ingredients.

2 cups dried pasta e.g. spirals or sea shells.

¼ cup olive oil.

1 brown onion, peeled and chopped.

200g pressed ham, diced.

½ cup Marsala.

1 400g can cherry tomatoes in juice.

2 tblsp Thai chilli sauce.

Salt to taste.

1 cup mornay sauce.

1 cup grated cheese.

1 tblsp rubbed origanum.

2 slices white toast bread, reduced to crumbs.

Small bunch parsley, chopped.

1 tsp paprika.

 

Method.

Preheat the oven to 180°C [if planning to cook immediately]. Set a pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta according to the direction on the packet. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a sauté pan over a medium-hot flame and stir fry the onion until soft. Add the Marsala and the ham and cook, stirring well, until the wine has mostly disappeared.

Reduce the heat to low and stir in the tomatoes, chilli sauce and salt to taste. Bring gently to the boil. Drain the pasta and add to the mixture. Prepare the mornay sauce and stir that through the mixture. Pour the whole thing into a baking dish.

Sprinkle the origanum all over the top. Mix the grated cheese, bread crumbs, parsley and paprika together until thoroughly mix then spread over the top and pat down slightly. Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.

 

Serve with: A crisp green salad.

 

Serves: 4.

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