Can’t decide between pizza or pasta for dinner? With this Pizza Pasta Bake you don’t have to! You can enjoy both at the same time as it’s packed with stringy mozzarella and provolone cheese and a rich basil infused tomato sauce. But it’s also really quick and easy to make and can be made ahead too and frozen, giving you a perfect midweek supper.
I was gifted cheeses from Auricchio, which are available on the Ciao Gusto Italian Deli at Ocado, and couldn’t resist making the most of their unique textures. If you haven’t heard of provolone it’s a similar cheese to mozzarella which originates from Southern Italy. Provolone cheese comes in two forms: provolone dolce, which is aged for 2-3 months, and is a pale yellow to white colour with a sweet taste. The other, provolone picante, is aged for more than four months and has a sharper taste and it’s this one I have used to give more of a tang. That said, this is a very mild cheese still. This dish gets its pizza vibe not just from the tomato and basil sauce and melted cheese on top but also by being studded with blobs of mozzarella. I’ve used mozzarella cherries but if you you can’t find mozzarella cherries just chop up a mozzarella ball instead.
So next time the kids are squabbling over which Italian classic they want you can make sure everyone is happy. Plus you can make this in advance meaning your midweek dinner is even easier. Make the most of the offers on the Auricchio cheeses this April as they were wonderfully melty and delicately flavoured. And check out the other authentic Italian ingredients from Ciao Gusto: www.ocado.com/ciaogusto
Pizza Pasta Bake
- 300g wholewheat fusilli
- 2 small or one large red onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
- 680g passata
- 4 teaspoons green pesto
- 100g Auricchio Thin slices of strong Provolone cheese
- 150g Auricchio Mozzarella Cherries, chopped in half
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Step 1 Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions, drain and place to one side.
- Step 2 In a large pan cook the onion, garlic and pepper in the olive oil on a low heat with the lid on until the vegetables are all soft but not coloured, it will take around 10mins.
- Step 3 Then add the pesto, passata and grind in some black pepper to taste. Combine well and leave to simmer on a low heat for 5mins.
- Step 4 Remove from the heat and stir in the pasta and the mozzarella.
- Step 5 Place into an ovenproof, casserole style dish.
- Step 6 Top with slices of provolone cheese.
- Step 7 Cook in the centre of the oven 200 °C / 180 °C Fan / Gas 5 for 30mins. Check it is piping hot throughout and serve.
- Step 8