Last night I was home alone as my boyfriend was working late, he didn’t get home until 3am this morning, luckily he didn’t wake me up when he came in. He’s also working late tonight and tomorrow, hoping he’s going to find a job with more sociable hours this year. This meant that I could cook whatever I wanted last night. Usually when it’s just me this means I get to cook with the ingredients that he doesn’t really like e.g. mushrooms and aubergines. I hadn’t planned anything in particular but I found a reduced price packet of mushrooms when doing a bit of shopping on the way home from uni on Thursday. So after a quick raid of the cupboards I found a two open packets of pasta in different shaped, one didn’t even have a full portion in it so it needed using up and just enough flour left in another packet to make the sauce with. I also decided to use some leftover breadsticks that I bought to nibble on over Christmas to provide a crunchy topping to this cheesy mushroom pasta bake. I’ve only given the quantites for one here but you could easily scale this up to feed a family for a quick mid week meal. The method here makes the cheese sauce around the mushrooms so that more mushroom flavour infuses into the sauce. This also saves on the washing up.
Ingredients – serves 1 greedy student!
100g pasta shapes
145g mushrooms, sliced
25g salted butter
25g plain flour
4 bread sticks
50g grated cheddar cheese plus extra for sprinkling
- Cook the pasta in boiling water according to packet instructions and preheat the grill to high heat.
- Meanwhile melt the butter in a non stick frying pan over a medium heat and add the mushrooms with a generous grind of black pepper and fry until the mushrooms are coloured and softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the flour to the mushrooms and stir until it is all absorbed and then add the milk a little at a time, stirring constantly and cook for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and stir through the grated cheese and season to taste.
- Put the breadsticks in a plastic food bag and bash with a rolling pin to create crumbs.
- By now the pasta should be just about cooked. Drain the cooked pasta and stir the sauce into the pasta. Transfer to an oven proof baking dish and sprinkle over the crumbs and a little extra cheese as well. Place under the hot grill until the crumbs are golden and crunchy and the cheese is bubbling, about 3-4 minutes.
I’m entering this into the brand new Pasta Please challenge hosted by Jac at Tinned Tomatoes, the newly revamped Credit Crunch Munch challenge run by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours and Camilla at Fab Food 4 All and also into Mrs M’s Recipe Link Party.