Monday, 3 November 2014

Cook twice?

Hi everyone,

No weekend blogging because I was suffering with a nasty headache on Saturday and yesterday was busy. Thank you for all the Halloween comments :)

As promised, the pasta bake recipe is below.

Recently I've been looking at ways to cut my food bill. We love food and we like to eat well...sometimes too many treats for me! However, things need to change a bit. I'm definitely not going on a diet (I will cheat after day three!) but I do intend to make some small changes to benefit us all. I have got very lazy lately, but baking the other day made me realise that I can fit this into my daily routine more often. As a result, I bought much less rubbish and treats and will attempt to make what we have been enjoying lately. I managed to reduce our shopping bill even though I bought baking supplies, so it just goes to show! 

Today I am going through my kitchen cupboards, fridge and freezers to see what we've got. I haven't meal planned for this week yet because I know we have plenty and I will 'shop' from my own stores! I bought lots of veg and hope to use the slow cooker as much as possible. Tonight we are having our roast (pork) and the rest of the week is undecided as yet! 

Something else I am trying is cooking once but eating twice. Sadly our microwave has died on us, but I can still do this. I cooked double the amount of mince we needed and made it into a tomato ragu style meat sauce (just mince, onion, herbs, Worcester sauce and passata.) the first day half was used for my pasta bake and the other half was stored in the fridge and turned into chilli the following day. It only took a few minutes to prepare and we didn't mind eating mince two days running. So here is my pasta bake recipe...

You will need:
Mince (I used beef)
Onion (finely chopped)
A sprinkle of herbs
A dash of Worcester sauce
A carton of passata
Pasta (anything you've got)
A white roux sauce (butter, flour, milk)
Grated cheese

I haven't given exact amounts because it is a throw in type of recipe that I made for my family. Just use the usual amounts of mince and pasta you need to feed your family (or do double for the following day like I did)


1). Brown the mince with the onion. Add the herbs and Worcester.

2). Simmer the mince with the passata while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

3). Put the pasta on to boil and cook until ready.

4). Make the white sauce by melting a little butter, stir in a tbsp of plain flour, then add the milk slowly until the sauce has thickened and is pourable. (I'm sure I don't need to tell you how to make a white sauce)!

5). Stir the drained pasta into the white sauce and pile into an oven dish.

6). Top with the meat sauce and sprinkle with grated cheese.

7). Cover with foil and bake @180oC for 15mins. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 mins. 

8). Serve with salad and garlic bread or veg.

You could cheat by buying the white and tomato sauces if you like. 

Feel free to ask questions if this is too basic! 

It was lovely! Easy peasy!

Thanks for reading,

Mandy x


  1. That looks truly yummy! I'm a great believer in cooking nce and eating twice. Minimum cooking quantities would mean that I would have HUGE portions if I didn't as I live on my own!

  2. That looks like a delicious hearty meal for a family. I might cheat when I make similar later as I have a stock of white sauce mixes that were 26p in Aldi recently. I too like the cook once and eat twice idea. I know someone who got a nearly new microwave on a freecycle site :)

    1. If it was cheap, then it's a good cheat! My daughter has seen loads of great stuff on free cycle. To be honest, I haven't really missed it apart from reheating food for my daughter as she gets in from work later than when we eat tea xx

  3. I do a similar thing to your pasta bake, but I mix the meat sauce, pasta (twists or bows usually) and white sauce all together, then top with grated cheese and bake it.

    Another fan of cooking once, eating twice here. As there's only the 2 of us, I frequently make enough for 4......we either eat the same thing 2 days running, or I freeze the other half for a quick meal another day when I have less time (or energy for cooking!).

    1. My food doesn't taste as nice when it's been frozen for some reason, although I do have some bits like that in the freezer xx

  4. I often find that the second meal tastes better than the first one. Allowing the flavours to mingle for longer seems to improve its flavour.

    1. I agree, I just don't enjoy my meals that have been frozen! Xx

  5. It looks delicious! We nearly always cook once eat twice, sometimes 3 times, day 3 is usually disguised as something else :-). I have mince defrosting for a chilli and bolognaise sauce, they should take care of the rest of the week. Jacket potatoes are a favourite at the moment. xx

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