Pasta bake recipe: How to make pasta bake

If you don’t have much time on your hands, a pasta bake can be made in a few simple steps. This BBC Good Food recipe takes half an hour to prepare, and then all you have to do is bake it for 45 minutes.


  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 6 tbsp mascarpone
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
  • 300g penne
  • 70g mature cheddar, grated
  • 50g grated mozzarella
  • ½ small bunch of parsley, finely chopped

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Step one

Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a pan over a medium heat

Step two

Peel one onion, leaving the root intact. Then, cut it in half through the root.

Next, cut the root at an angle and trim away the top of the onion.

Hold one side of the onion between your little finger and thumb. Place your other fingers on top of the onion.

Angle the fingernail of your middle finger and use that fingernail to guide and buffer the blade as it slices the onion very finely from one edge to the other.

Ease the blade further up the onion with each cut. Do this until you are left with finely chopped pieces.

Step three

Fry the chopped onion gently for 10-12 mins.

Step four

Add the garlic and chilli flakes and cook for 1 min.

Step five

Tip in the tomatoes and sugar and season to taste.

Step six

Simmer uncovered for 20 mins or until thickened, then stir through the mascarpone.

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Step five

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a non-stick frying pan.

Step six

Season the chicken and fry for 5-7 mins or until the chicken is cooked through.

Step seven

Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.

Step eight

Cook the penne following pack instructions. It normally takes around 14 minutes to cook.

Step nine

Drain the pasta in a colander and put it back in the pan. Toss the pasta with the remaining oil.

Step 11

Tip the pasta into a medium sized ovenproof dish.

Step 12

Stir in the chicken and pour over the sauce. Top with the cheddar, mozzarella and parsley.

Step 13

Bake for 20 mins or until golden brown and bubbling.

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