Here’s a really simple pasta bake that doesn’t take hundreds of pots and pans to make and looks impressive when served at the dinner table. A garlicky, cheesy pasta bake with spinach and refreshing bursts of ripe cherry tomatoes.
Here’s how to make it.
- 400g (14 oz) dried rigatoni
- 350g (12.5 oz) cherry tomatoes (a small box)
- 200g (7 oz) frozen spinach (1½ handfuls)
- 2 tsp mince garlic
- 1-2 tsp chilli flakes
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 250g (9 oz) fresh mozzarella (1 large pack)
- 100g (3.5 oz) cheddar (a couple of handfuls)
- seasoning to taste
- a oven proof casserole dish or roasting tray
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 355F.
- Boil the pasta in plenty of salted, boiling water until al dente.
- Grease the oven dish with a little olive oil and add the drained pasta.
- Blast the spinach in the microwave for a couple of minutes until fully defrosted, then press in a sieve or colander to remove the excess moisture and add to the dish.
- Add the cherry tomatoes whole but squeezed as they go in to release the juice, then tear the mozzarella into inch pieces and add that too.
- Add the garlic and chilli flakes, then drizzle with the remaining olive oil and toss gently to evenly distribute the ingredients and season well with salt and pepper.
- Top with the grated cheddar.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbling and golden in places.
- Serve hot while all the cheese is deliciously stringy - be careful, the tomatoes will be VERY hot inside.