Rukmini Iyer's £1 recipe – one pan baked pasta

Two pocket-friendly one-pot pasta dishes: gnocchi in a creamy, cheesy tomato and basil sauce, and eggs nestled in pasta with spinach

A tin of grilled gnocchi is a signature dish for me, and this version with creamy tomato and basil sauce is the real ribsticker dish – the perfect cold-weather comfort food. (If you're cooking for one or two people, I'd encourage you to do the full recipe, because leftovers are amazing the next day.) And, for a fun baked pasta dish, my egg florentine recipe, in which, rather than baking eggs In the spinach enriched bechamel, I added cooked pasta for a balanced meal, and double cream for ease and speed. They are beautiful when made in individual dishes.

Baked green eggs and pasta (top image)

I like eggs florentine but, for a main course, you need pasta, so I swirl the cooked fusilli, conchiglie, or even spaghetti through the sauce, then crack the eggs into little indentations that are made in each oven dish. I use double cream instead of making bechamel for ease and speed. Preparation 10 minutes

  • Cook 40 minutes
  • Serving 4
  • 400g conchiglie, fusilli or spaghetti
  • 300 grams of spinach, roughly chopped
  • 300ml double cream
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 4 medium eggs (at room temperature)

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions, until nearly al dente. Add the chopped spinach, cook for another minute, until wilted, then drain well and return to the pan.

Preheat oven to 190C (fan 170C)/375F/gas 5. Stir the cream, nutmeg and lemon juice through the cooked paste mixture and season to taste.

Divide the pasta among four ovenproof dishes (or one large baking sheet) and make four indentations in the pasta. Crack the egg into it, season with salt, then transfer to the oven and bake for 23-25 minutes, until the top of the paste is crisp and the egg is just set -- the yolk will be lumpy, not runny. Let sit for five minutes, then serve hot.

Creamy baked gnocchi with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil

  • Preparation 10 min
  • Cook 35 minutes
  • Serving 4
  • 1kg gnocchi (chilled or vacuum packed)
  • 2 x 400g cans of tomatoes
  • 300 ml creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 125g mozzarella, torn
  • 90g basil pesto (that is, ½ jar)

Preheat oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Place the gnocchi in a large bowl, cover with boiling water, let simmer for two minutes, then drain well.

Place the gnocchi, tomatoes, creme fraiche, salt, well-ground black pepper, and olive oil in a large roasting tin, and mix thoroughly. Top with torn mozzarella, top with pesto, ground more black pepper and bake for 35 minutes.

Remove and let the gnocchi sit for five minutes, before serving hot.

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