Thursday, 6 June 2013

Mid-Week Family Meal Inspiration - Ham, Cheese and Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe

I'm currently living back in my parents house (hopefully not for much longer!) and whilst we have a casual rota for making dinner during the week, I find myself cooking many of our family meals. I don't mind this though - I have the time at the moment, as well as the passion for cooking! One of the things I love about living back at my family home is being able to flick through all my mum's cookbooks and finding new recipes. Yesterday I was looking through her Good Housekeeping cookbook (available on Amazon marketplace here) and found a recipe for a pasta bake that looked tasty, so thought I would give it a go for our mid-week meal.

I adapted the original recipe slightly by using a little less cream and mustard powder, and a little more spinach to make it healthier (I absolutely adore spinach). It was lovely, so I will share my adapted version with you...

Recipe - Ham, Cheese and Spinach Pasta Bake
(Adapted from Good Housekeeping's 'Penne, Cheese and Ham Bake')
Serves 4-6


- 50g butter
- 25g plain flour
- 1 tsp mustard powder (the original recipe calls for 1 tbsp, but i'm not a massive fan of strong mustard flavour)
- 450ml milk
- 125g grated cheddar cheese
- 50ml double cream
- 120g pack of sliced ham, chopped (I used Sainsbury's Honey Roast Wiltshire Cured Ham)
- Pinch a nutmeg 
- Salt and pepper
- 350g dried pasta (I used fusilli pasta twists)
- 200g frozen spinach
- 25g parmesan, grated


1. Preheat the oven to 200°c.

2. Melt the butter in a pan, then stir in the flour until combined.

3. Add the mustard powder and milk and stir until smooth. Let the sauce come to the boil, stirring often with a whisk – let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cheddar and stir until all the cheese has melted. Add the cream and ham and season the mixture with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

4. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions and drain thoroughly went cooked.

5. Whilst the pasta cooks place the frozen spinach in a bowl and pour over some hot water until it has thawed. Drain and press out any excess water.

6. Mix together the pasta, sauce and spinach and pour into a big ovenproof dish. Grate parmesan over the top if desired and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. 


The tasty end result...

Lisa x

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