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Member recipe

Pesto, pepper, pancetta pasta bake

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Cooking time

Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 10 minutes

Skill level

More effort

Servings

Serves 4

A cheesy pasta bake with red pepper pesto, pancetta, peppers and smoked sausage. My husband asked me to make something meaty and hearty and it has become one of his favourites! The pesto really works and makes it so tasty.

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Ingredients

  • 400g Spirali Pasta
  • 1 x large onion
  • 1 x red pepper
  • 1 x green pepper
  • 155g smoked pancetta cubes
  • 100g smoked sausage
  • 1 large ball mozzarella
  • 150g cheddar cheese
  • 50g emmenthal
  • 2 x garlic cloves
  • 1 x jar of red pepper pesto

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Dice the onion and garlic and cut the peppers into medium chunks. Fry the onions and after a couple of minutes add the garlic. Be careful that the garlic doesn't brown as it can ruin the flavour. When the onion has softened add the peppers.

  2. Meanwhile, get the pasta on the boil. Slice the smoked sausage. Add the pancetta to the pan and let this cook until brown; this will really draw out the smoky flavour but the cubes are small enough to not go too crunchy. Depending on the fat content of the pancetta, this will take around 7 minutes(more fatty will take longer) Add the sliced sausage.

  3. Grate your 2 cheeses and slice your mozarella into around 5-6 slices. At this point your pasta should be done, your pancetta browned and your sausage lightly cooked and absorbed the flavours. Now add your red pepper pesto. This will only need around 90 seconds to warm and take on the garlic and onion. Drain the pasta and add to an ovenproof dish.

  4. Pour the meat and veg mix over the pasta ensuring the pesto spreads evenly. Remember this is more of a glaze than a sauce. Push the mozarella slices into the pasta so it is around halfway from the top and bottom of the dish. Add a generous layer of cheddar and finish by sprinkling emmenthal over the top. This has a much lower fat content so will give the bake a crispy cheese topping. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes or until the top has browned. The pasta is all cooked so you are really just drawing it all together with the cheese.

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