• Pasta bake with bacon, peas and roast butternut

    Serves: 6 – 8
    Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 min


    • 100g butternut, diced
    • 125ml (½ cup) olive oil
    • 45ml (3 tbsp) fresh thyme, finely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 125g unsalted butter
    • 80g cake flour
    • 1,25 litres milk, hot
    • 2,5ml (½ tsp) nutmeg, freshly grated
    • 250g bacon bits, fried until crispy
    • 250g button mushrooms, halved
    • 120g peas, blanched
    • 50ml fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
    • 250ml (1 cup) mozzarella, grated
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 500g pasta of your choice
    • 50ml Parmesan, grated
    • 45ml (3 tbsp) butter, cut into cubes



    Preheat the oven to 180°C.


    Place the butternut, oil, thyme and garlic in a roasting pan. Season and toss with your hands to coat well. Roast until the butternut is soft, about 40 minutes.


    To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for about a minute. Stirring continuously, gradually add the hot milk and continue to whisk vigorously until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Simmer until it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes.


    Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the cooked butternut mixture, together with the nutmeg, bacon, mushrooms, peas, parsley and half the mozzarella. Season and set aside.


    Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and return to the pot. Pour in the sauce, using a wooden spoon to mix until the pasta is well coated with the sauce.


    Lightly grease 8 ramekins and pour in the Parmesan. Shake so that the sides of the ramekins are well coated. Spoon the pasta mixture into the ramekins and smooth the tops. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella. Dot the top with the butter and bake until bubbling and golden brown, about 25 – 30 minutes.


    Serve hot, either in the ramekins or turned out onto a plate.


    This pasta bake can be served with our tomato sauce or tomato pesto.