Creamy Sundried Tomato Pasta Bake
Added by Cathyc16 | Sat 25 Jun 2011 @ 08:44
This dish is really great because you can make it completely vegetarian for guests or add some protein if that\'s what you prefer.
The easiest way to include protein is to add some shredded chicken to the oven dish in step 3. It\'s especially yummy if you\'ve coated the chicken in some of the sundried tomato pesto before grilling or frying.
When I made this, I made myself a salad from baby wild greens (rocket etc.) with a balsamic and olive oil dressing, with chopped kalamata olives, diced sundried tomatoes, a deseeded and diced cucumber and some fresh roughly chopped roma tomatoes.
Also, please be aware that when I say a small bunch of basil I mean an Australian small bunch of basil, which may be miniscule by other standards! But you can always include more or less depending on your own taste.
625g of pre-made stuffed pasta like agnolotti, ravioli or tortellini (you can always make your own if you like and the filling is totally up to you!)
1 small bunch of fresh basil
1 small jar of sundried or semi-dried tomatoes
Sliced kalamata olives (optional)
A few peeled cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper
Low fat cooking cream (or full fat if you\'re feeling a bit decadent)
Fresh flat leaf parsley
A good wedge of parmesan
Bocconcini or mozarella (optional)
1. Put all the sundried tomatoes and some of the oil from the jar into the bowl of a food processor with the picked leaves of the fresh basil, the garlic (you can roast this in the oven beforehand if you like, but leave it in the skin while roasting then squeeze out the garlic once it\'s cool enough to handle), some salt and pepper, some picked leaves from the parsley and a good grating of the parmesan. Whiz it up in the food processor and keep adding oil until you have a good pesto like consistency.
2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling water until it is just a bit underdone, then drain and empty into an oven dish so that it just reaches the top. Spoon in the sundried tomato pesto and add enough of the cream until you have a good coating on the pasta, but not a ton of sauce swimming in the bottom of the dish. Throw in the sliced olives if you are using them and give the whole thing a good stir, but not too roughly or you\'ll burst the pasta like I did! Grate over an excessive amount of the parmesan and then tear some of the bocconcini over the top or grate roughly.
3. Cook in a 180 degree (celsius) oven until the cheese is all melted and the top layer of the pasta is looking all golden and a little bit crispy around the edges.
4. Garnish with parsley and then serve with a really yummy salad - rocket and shaved parmesan dressed with olive oil and balsamic or red wine vinegar works really well.