This was a quick and easy recipe I made to make use of some Charlotte onions that I had in a bag and needed to use before getting spoiled.... ***WARNING**** Very easy and cheap to make.
- 20 Charlotte onions (remember these are small onions, pealed and cut in halves)
- 10 medium mushrooms (halved and sliced)
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 piece of fresh ginger minced (the size of two garlic cloves)
- 2 large carrots (half and sliced very very thinly)
- 1 plum tomato tin (chopped)
- 2 soup spoons of tomato paste (in a little water)
- 2 cups of milk
- 1 soup spoon of butter
- a pinch of nutmeg
- a pinch of salt and black pepper
- 2 soup spoons of plain flour dissolved in water
- 4 soups spoons of grated cheese + 3 soup spoons of grated cheese (any mature cheddar will do)
- a soup spoon of oregano
- 400grs of penne pasta (other durum wheat pasta will do)
- 5 soup spoons of olive oil
Put a pan of water with a little salt and a soup spoon of oil on the stove till is boiling, them put the pasta in and boil until cooked "al dente" which should be around 10 to 12 minutes, once done let in drain in a colander.
Now you need to make two sauces, a bechamel and a tomato one. Start by the tomato one as takes longer. So in a pan on the heat pour the 5 spoons of olive oil the pinch of salt and black pepper plus the minced garlic and ginger, let these cook until golden, as soon as that happens add the onions and the carrots, continue cooking stirring occasionally until the onions are semi transparent, at this stage add the mushroom the tomato tin the tomato paste in a little water, and let this all cook for about 15-20 minutes.
Five minutes before the tomato sauce is done start doing the bechamel and start preheating the oven to 200c. To make the bechamel sauce put on another pan the milk the butter a pinch of salt and black pepper plus the pinch of nutmeg, wait until very hot by this time the butter has melted, add in one go the flour that you previously fully dissolved in some water, always stirring so that it doesn't get lumps, once it thickens add the 3 soup spoons of grated cheese, this will thicken the sauce even more.
Now compose the dish by pouring the pasta into the tomato sauce , mix well, then pour this into a large Pyrex tray, smooth it down with the back of a serving spoon, then evenly pour the bechamel sauce over the tomato and pasta, so that it evenly covers the whole of the pasta, over this with your hand sprinkle the remaining grated cheese, and finally on top sprinkle the oregano and grind some black pepper. Stick this in the preheated oven for 15 minutes until golden brown on top and serve.
this is a lovely vegetarian dish I invented years ago but is always popular in my house, for meat eaters just add a side of plain grilled chicken breast with some melted butter, lemon juice, garlic and parsley poured over the chicken. (or fish well whatever you want :) )