Have you ever tried the British shepherd pie and cottage pie? The difference between the two, is that the former one is with lamb mince and the latter with minced pork.
This baked pasta is similar to those pies, it is topped with mashed potato with a super crispy golden crust. Beneath the layer of mash there are some pasta with meat sauce. This dish reminds me of my high school days in UK. I wasn’t a big fan of school food. Compare to those Chinese home-cooked food I usually have in Hong Kong, those food from the school kitchen seemed boring and kind of tasteless. Well…apart from baked pasta. That was that only dish which motivated me to be at the canteen early for queuing up.
I just love this simple dish packed with flavor. I love the way the layer of mash preserves the heat and aroma of the pasta. It’s a great freezer meal too! You can always prepare extra and reheated it. This is definitely my comfort food, perhaps it’ll become one of yours too.
BAKED PASTA W/ MASH
- 250g Any kind of pasta
- 1 Onion, finely diced
- 3 Tomatoes, diced
- Olive oil
- Ground black pepper
- Grated parmesan cheese
- 300g Minced meat
- 1 jar of Pasta sauce
- 20-30g Butter
- 30-40g Milk
- 2 large size Potato
- Wash all the ingredients. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packaging.
- When pasta is al dente, reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water and drain.
- Dice the onions and tomatoes.
- Pour oil into the pan and heat it up. Add the diced onions into the pan.
- Add in the minced meat and fry until the colour changes. Add in the diced tomatoes.
- Stir well then close the lid. Cook until the tomato juice starts coming out. Add salt.
- Stir in the pasta sauce, fry for a while. Add in the cooked pasta and 1/4 cup of pasta water.
- Add in black pepper, basil, salt and sugar.
- Turn to high heat and cook until the sauce becomes thick. When it’s done, put the pasta into the baking tray.
- While cooking the pasta, boil the potatoes. Skin and mash them while they are stilll hot.
- Mix butter, milk, salt and pepper into the mashed potatoes.
- Cover all the pasta with a layer of mashed potatoes on top of the pasta. Use the fork to create some pattern on top.
- Put into the oven which is preheated to 200 degrees. Bake for 20 mins until the top layer is golden colour.
- Before putting into the oven, you can sprinkle some shredded mozzarella cheese on top.
- You can choose to use any kind of minced meat. You can also add in boiled peas, corn or diced carrots.
- The portion of butter and milk need to be adjusted according to the moisture level of the mashed potatoes.
- If you want a lighter option, skip the part of doing the mash. Replace the mash with a layer of oats (the instant kind for breakfast) mix with grated Parmesan cheese.
- With the remaining pasta, you can put it in a bowl, sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese and grill for 5 mins.