When I have a bunch of random ingredients in the fridge, a pasta bake is usual my top choice for using them up! It’s easy, relatively quick to put together, and the crispy, cheesy topping is total comfort food to me! To be honest, pasta is always my go-to comfort food.
In the ingredients list, I’ve kept things flexible so you can change it up to suit what you have. I used chorizo, peppers and spinach as that’s what I had in the fridge, and for a creamy element, I had some leftover mascarpone in the fridge, but you could use cream cheese or just double cream.
Let me know if you decide to make it – comment below and be sure to tag me in your photos @theglasgowdiet on Instagram!
Cajun “Fridge-Raider” Pasta Bake
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
200g chorizo (or bacon, or chicken, or a mix of them!)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot/onion finely diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp Cajun seasoning
2 peppers, sliced (or any veg you have, mushrooms, courgette, broccoli etc)
500g passata or chopped tomatoes
50g mascarpone/cream cheese/double cream
100g mature cheddar
1 ball fresh mozzarella
350g short pasta, I used fusilli
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat your oven to 180c (fan) and put a large pot of salted water on to boil. Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan and add the oil. Add the chorizo/bacon/chicken, cook for a few minutes until browned, then remove and set aside.
2. Add more oil if you need it, then add the shallot/onion and cook for five minutes until soft, then add the garlic and Cajun seasoning and cook for a few more mins.
3. Add your vegetables, cook for a couple of minutes, then pour in the passata and your mascarpone/cream. Half-fill the passata tin with some water, swill around and pour the tomatoey water into the pot. Bring to the boil, stirring to help the mascarpone melt, then keep warm and leave to simmer over a low heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Put the pasta on to boil and cook for 3-4 minutes less than pack instructions. Drain, then add it to the sauce along with most of the cheddar, and return the browned chorizo/chicken/bacon. Toss to mix everything together.
5. Pour into a roasting dish and top with the remaining cheddar. Tear up the mozzarella and scatter it on top too. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until golden and bubbling. Dig in and enjoy!