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Baked Mixed Pasta with Gnocchi & Cheese Sauce

I’d made a large pot of pasta sauce last week and now we were down to the dregs. I also had a very small serve of Soyaroni pasta left over. Not enough to really make two generous serves but too much to be thrown away. What to do? Add to it, throw in some more pasta & bake of course!

Baked Mixed Pasta with Gnocchi & Cheese Sauce

Baked Mixed Pasta! This will feed my partner & I for 2 or 3 nights. The other dish feeds us a single serve each (scroll down to other photos).

This is the large casserole dish before it went into the oven. I had enough pasta between the soyaroni & the gnocchi to warrant making a second, smaller dish (see below).

I cooked up a packet of fresh potato gnocchi to add to my left-over Soyaroni pasta (pasta made with soy flour).

I tossed the combined pastas into the large casserole dish with the left-over pasta sauce & mixed it thoroughly.

Because I had some & felt inspired, I also cooked up some bacon cut into strips (of course I used “fake” bacon being vego).

Looking at the amount of sauce-coated pasta in the casserole dish, I decided there was now quite a lot so opted to ladle out a few spoons into a second dish.

Now to make the cheese sauce. Yes, it’s low-fat but still yummy.

Cheese Sauce

600ml milk (I use 250ml full-cream milk + 350ml WATER)(this makes a low-fat milk but still leaves the fat molecules in which are handy for ensuring easy & even thickening when you add the cornflour)

4 tbs cornflour (I always try to use maize cornflour)

¼ – ½ tsp butter (for the colour & those fatty molecules)(OPTIONAL)

Dried parsley, cracked pepper (a sprinkle or more of each to your own taste)(OPTIONAL)

Low-fat grated tasty cheddar cheese (about 1 cup, maybe a bit more)(or use a similar cheese)

A pinch or more of grated parmesan (okay, this isn’t low-fat)

I make my sauce in the microwave on HIGH power, using a large 1 litre jug.

  • Add enough milk to the cornflour to make a smooth, runny paste.
  • Add the butter into the milk (it’s going to melt).
  • Heat the milk mixture in the jug for 90secs. Then stir or whisk the melting butter.
  • Whilst stirring the milk mixture, add the cornflour paste. Stir briskly.
  • Heat the mixture for 2 mins.

The mixture should be thickened & have a glossy surface. Stir. (It’s normal to have thick, chunky bits of cornflour at the bottom but even after removing those there should still be enough cornflour in the milk to ensure a nice, thick sauce.)

  • Add the parsley & pepper & stir in.
  • Add the grated cheese(s) and stir through. Leave for 2-5 mins to allow cheese to melt. Stir again.

Cheese sauce is ready to use!

  • Pour your cheese sauce over your sauce-coated pasta.
  • Sprinkle with a little extra grated cheese of your choosing (I used tasty cheddar & parmesan).
  • And finish off with a tiny sprinkle of sweet paprika (to give it a “browned” look when cooked).
  • Bake at 180C in a fan-forced oven for 30-40 mins. (This step may be done later in the day if pre-preparing your meal.)

Ready for the oven!

Now it's ready to eat!

Enjoy!

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