Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Quick and Easy Back to School Pasta - A Perfect Midweek Meal

Well, that is it, another summer is over and it is time for the children and I to return to work. I will admit to looking forward to September. We all function so much better with a routine. Don't get me wrong, the holidays were lovely but towards the end you could tell that we were all ready for work and school. Now that we are getting back into our regular routine I am stepping up my meal planning as I find it so much easier to get home knowing what I am cooking, and also adding more vegetables into our meals. I cannot be the only one who gets lazy over the holidays, it is easy to go for the easier, unhealthy option, grab a chocolate bar or a take away. 

Thankfully there are easy ways to add some extra goodness into our meals and this recipe demonstrates that perfectly. When I returned to work I discovered the value of my freezer and how frozen vegetables are just as good as fresh vegetables when you are in a hurry.

In our house pasta is always a winning meal so what better way to start the school year than with a delicious pasta dish that is full of veg the kids will love!

This is what I did...

Quick and Easy Back to School Pasta

Ingredients - Served 5 plus leftovers

500g lean steak mince
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 red pepper, grated (keep the lovely juice that comes from the pepper when grating)
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, crushed
200g frozen peas and sweetcorn
4 chunks of frozen spinach
150mls beef stock
1 small head of broccoli, cut into tiny florets
400g pasta
Lots of cheese!


1 -  Place the mince in a large saute pan and dry fry for 2 minutes

2 - Add the onions and continue to cook for 3 minutes

3 - Next add the garlic, grated carrot, grated pepper and any juice to the pan, stir thoroughly and cook with the lid on for 5 minutes

4 - Pour in the chopped tomatoes, add the peas, sweet corn, spinach, broccoli and beef stock

5 - Stir thoroughly, bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on

6 - While the meat sauce is cooking place the dried pasta in a pan of boiling, salted water and cook for 8 minutes

7 - Once the pasta is cooked al dente drain and add to the meat sauce and mix together

8 - Place the pasta and sauce mixture into an oven proof casserole dish and cover with you favourite cheese, I used a mixture of mozzarella, red Leicester and Blacksticks blue

9 - Place under a hot grill until the cheese has melted and is all bubbly then serve

This meal is delicious served either as it is, with salad or a lovely chunk of garlic bread. But best of all the kids will love it!

Enjoy x

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  1. Got to love pasta for a quick and easy mid week meal! Looks lovely x #cookblogshare

  2. This looks so good and is a great way to get veg into the kids.

  3. Pasta bake is such a fantastically convenient meal, and yours sounds really delicious and healthy too! #CookBlogShare

  4. Oh yummy! This is a great back-to-school meal and I just wish my daughter would eat pasta!

  5. The summer flew by, didn't it? Although I really enjoy the summer months, I have to admit: I was ready for the kids to get back to school. I love that this pasta is loaded with healthy vegetables, but I have to be a bit sneakier with my picky eater, who will assiduously pick through and remove any recognizable veggie substance. I often resort to spaghetti squash or puréed cauliflower—while devoutly hoping that it's just a phase!

  6. This looks soooo yummy! I can't believe the kids are back at school but I need to start being organised and this pasta dish looks perfect for those crazy evenings!

  7. I love how easy pasta dishes are Kirsty, and perfect for getting some veggies in there too :-)
    Angela x

  8. Mmmm - sounds delicious. I am totally with you - I function so much better with the routine of term time. My kids were practically climbing the walls the last two weeks of the holidays. I d wish they'd make them shorter!! Eb x


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