Comfort Food = Pasta Bake
When I'm feeling a bit down, or tired, or lazy, or I just want something to make me feel like the world isn't a god awful place, I want comfort food. Comfort food takes a variety of forms for me - oddly enough, not so much with the chocolate as comfort food. I'm a much more savoury oriented woman (don't get me wrong, though - vanilla So Good icecream topped with sliced banana and melted chocolate? Totally comforting...)
So, I like to make pasta bakes - hearty, soft, crunchy, flavoursome. My most recent pasta bake was MacNCheez style (but with standard and wholemeal spirals rather than macaroni...)
A 500g packet of San Remo Wholemeal spirals (I make enough for dinner and lunch for two [very hungry] people, so I use a lot of pasta)
1 1/2 cups of Casheez mix
3 cups of water
1/2 cup of mushrooms, sliced
1/c cup home made bread crumbs
Just a note on the breadcrumbs: I like to make my own, because a) it's a waste to buy them when I have been known to throw out bread 'cos it went off before I did anything with it, and b) it's so damn easy. My mother used to do it (and I hated it!) and there's really nothing to it. Take your old bread (obviously, if it's mouldy, throw it on the compost!), lie it on a metal rack, put it into a slow oven [about 15o degrees celcius] and cook until the bread is dry, kind of brown and crumbly. About half an hour, I think. Create bread crumbs by either placing the bread between a folded clean teatowel and beating the hell out of it with a rolling pin, or by bunging into a food processor. Store in an airtight container.
In a large pot, boil water for the pasta (you can salt the water if you wish). Grease a casserole dish with the Nuttelex. While the pasta is cooking, make up the Casheez Sauce.
Pour a layer of pasta into the casserole dish, top with mushrooms, and then pour about a third of the sauce over the pasta. Repeat, reserving the most sauce for the top layer of pasta. When you've covered the pasta in sauce, top with breadcrumbs.
Bung into a medium hot oven, about 180 degress celcius, and cook until the breadcrumbs are brown and crisp. This tastes great straight out of the oven, but also brilliant cold the next day for lunch!
Serve with lots of salad greens, and share and enjoy!!