I made this yesterday for a tasty lunch for when my boyfriend popped round to see me. It's nothing fancy and it certainly doesn't win any beauty contests, but boy it's good. I just really fancied something cheesy and bacony, and I had seen a very similar recipe on a fellow blogger's twitter the night before and had major food envy!
Pasta bake is the ultimate naughty comfort food, it's dead easy to do, and it always gives great results. And this occasion is no exception. My boyfriend isn't a huge broccoli or blue cheese can but he loved this! I made a simple cheese sauce and popped a bit of Stilton in, I would have gone for more if it was just me eating but this is a tamer version. You could add more blue if it's to your taste.
This pasta sauce teamed with the broc, bacon, garlic and onions is a winning combo!
300g penne pasta
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 medium onion, diced
6 rashers bacon, rind removed and cut up
200g broccoli florets
30g plain flour
250g mature cheddar, grated (reserving a little for sprinkling)
50g Stilton, crumbled
1 ball of mozzarella
1. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions and add the bro olly florets give minutes before the end of the pasta cooking time. Drain and set aside.
2. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5/200c. Sauté the garlic and onion in a large saucepan with a glug of olive oil until slightly softened. Then add the chopped bacon and cook until beginning to brown and crisp up. Remove from the pan and set aside in a bowl.
3. Using the same pan to make the cheese sauce, melt the butter gently. Take off the heat and slowly incorporate the flour with a little milk and stir until it forms a smooth paste. Gradually add more and more milk, getting rid of any lumps. Then put on a medium heat and keep stirring until the sauce begins to thicken (should take around 5 minutes). Once the sauce begins to get thick and bubble away, take of the heat and immediately stir in the Stilton and most of the cheddar.
4. Tip the pasta and broccoli in to the cheese sauce and then add the bacon mixture and stir until combined. Pour in to an oven proof dish, sprinkle with cheddar and arrange the sliced mozzarella on top.
5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until bubbling and golden brown on top.
One of the best things about this amazing PB is the crispy, cheesy top. It's also equally as good cold (or reheated) the next day for a lovely packed lunch.