Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Prawns In A Pasta Bake?!

Yupp! You read that correctly!

Last night was pasta bake night, it comes to the end of the month and money starts running dry. The only solution is to do a big cook of something to store away and have for the next week! 

It HAS to remain tasty and there must be a change of ingredients now and then, you'd get bored with standard cheese and bacon pasta bake (although I don't think I could ever grow tired of bacon).

It was the night before when myself and my boyfriend discussed what was on our current cravings list, which was when prawns came up! Now, I'm a big fan of prawns, I used to dislike them, I found them too plain and watery, but I've grown into my 'adult taste buds' and suddenly prawns are becoming a snack food! 

(Slightly off topic, but I've started to realise that healthy foods such as fish, crab and olives that would usually be considered as 'adult food' is becoming insanely tasty snack food for me, I can have olives on everything now. I came home after an evening out and snacked on pitted olives in brine at 3am, I wasn't even disgusted with myself, I was PROUD)

Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture. It looked so incredible and well, I have a 'fella' now...he was hungry and it came out the oven with a golden layer of cheese on top, we pretty much dug in as soon as it came out the oven. NO MESSING.

SO, because I can't SHOW you what it looked like, I'll teach you a
Step by Step 'Prawn and Bacon' pasta bake -

  • Pasta
  • Pasta Sauce of your preference
  • Cheese
  • Prawns
  • Bacon
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
Thats it! Everything we used for our pasta bake is above, there was nothing more, although you can add more vegetables or a different kind of meat, we never with ingredient measurements, we guestimate on what we really fancy and what we want to taste most!

  • Start off by getting a pasta bake dish, pour your pasta into this dish until it's half full, don't forget, pasta expands when being cooked, so only half of the dish is necessary!
  • Pour the pasta from the baking dish into a saucepan of water, and put it on a low heat to boil.
  • Whilst the pasta is starting to cook, start cutting up your vegetables and your meat, you can prepare this before you start cooking, but if there's two of you then you can easily power through the chopping and cutting whilst the pasta is starting to boil. The size of the ingredients is up to you, we usually cut the bacon up into thumb sized pieces, and finely chop the vegetables however your preference is that of your own!
  • Turn the pasta up to a medium heat and give it a stir now that you've finished chopping. Add a little oil to a frying pan at a medium heat and start frying your bacon. Gradually, add the vegetables when the bacon is near done and fry. 
  • By the time this is done the pasta should be finished, so add the prawns to the frying pan with everything else and turn the heat down low. Adding the prawns last prevents them from losing lots of flavour.
  • Whilst the prawns are cooking, drain the pasta of water and then place the pasta back in the saucepan, this is going to be where you add everything together and saves you using another bowl! (Less washing up!)
  • Your ingredients should be nicely fried now, drain any oil from the pan (No one likes a greasy pasta bake) and then add your bacon, prawns and vegetables to your pasta inside the saucepan before stirring to mix it in.
  • Pre-heat your oven at 200°C. Whilst mixing, Slowly add your sauce and stir it in. We used a standard macaroni cheese sauce for ours, but any pasta sauce can be used! 
  • Once you've finished, pour this from the saucepan into the pasta bake dish, it should fill up to the top now that the pasta has expanded and that theres plenty of ingredients inside! Even the dish out and finalise it by grating a layer of cheese on top (Again, however much you want!) Put the dish in the oven for 30 minutes.
And that's it! After the 30 minute mark you should pull out a dish full of pasta that is a crispy golden colour on top. Dish out your meal for you and whoever you're eating with whether a friend, partner or for the whole family. Any leftovers, add to tupperware and freeze until you next fancy a damn delicious meal!

I'm finishing today's blog post by saying, PLEASE, re-test your taste buds! There are so many foods out there, some that you've tried as a child that became an ultimate no-no. Remember we grow up loving McDonalds and now would much rather go for a Subway? As we grow older we become less fussy and I've got to say, bitter tastes become quite nice after trying the odd few ales! There are so many alternative healthy meals that taste just as good and sometimes better than a burger.

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