pasta bake

Feed the family for less than £1 a head by making this hearty pasta bake. A classic mince base topped with a cheesy pasta is bound to please everyone
Serves: 6
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 1 hr
Total time: 1 hr 10 mins
Skill level: Easy peasy
Costs:Cheap as chips




    • 1 tbsp olive oil


    • 2 onions, peeled and chopped


    • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed


    • 500g (1lb) minced beef


    • 1 aubergine, chopped


    • 2 tbsp tomato purée


    • 400g can chopped tomatoes


    • 2 tsp dried Italian herbs


    • 300ml (½ pint) hot beef stock


    • 1 tbsp gravy granules (optional)


    • 200g (7oz) penne pasta


For the sauce:

    • 60g (2oz) butter


    • 60g (2oz) plain flour


    • 450ml (¾ pint)


    • semi-skimmed milk


    • 60g (2oz) mature


    • Cheddar cheese, grated


    • 2 litre (3½ pint) ovenproof dish






    1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and fry over a medium heat for 3 mins, until softened. Turn the heat to high, add the garlic, mince and aubergine and fry for 5 mins to brown them. Add the purée, tomatoes, all herbs and stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 25 mins, until the beef is tender. Add gravy granules to thicken, if you like.


    1. Set the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling water according to the packet instructions, then drain and set aside. To make the white sauce: Put the butter, flour and milk into a large jug. Microwave on High for 4 mins, stirring twice, until the sauce has boiled and thickened.


    1. Stir the pasta into the meat mixture. Spoon into the dish. Pour on the sauce, sprinkle with the cheese and bake for 20 mins, until golden.



Nutritional information per portion



fat 28.0g saturates 14.0g calories 420(kcal)


This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.