Bacon, Tomato and Vegetable Pasta Bake (with Spooky Eyeballs) …

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A Pasta Bake will usually find its way onto my Meal Plan at least once a fortnight because, apart from being delicious, it’s quick and easy and a lot of the chopping and preparation can be done earlier in the day. In fact, the whole dish can be created in the morning so that you only need to pop it in the oven at dinner time. I also love that everything goes into a single dish … less washing up!

This is one of our family favourites and I love it also because it’s a great way to use up left over vegetables. That’s the beauty of a dish like this … you can add or omit ingredients depending on your family likes and dislikes.

I also have a bit of fun with this dish at Halloween by adding some bocconcini to create some spooky eyeballs. So tell me, do you have any favourite recipes you cook for Halloween?

Bacon, Tomato and Vegetable Pasta Bake (with Spooky Eyeballs) …
Ingredients …
  • 250g spiral pasta (or macaroni or other pasta shape)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 12 pieces shortcut bacon, roughly chopped
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 sticks celery, chopped
  • 1 small red capsicum, finely diced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 x 400g can corn kernels, drained
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 2 x 400g cans diced/crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1½ cups grated cheese
  • ¼ cup parmesan
  • Bocconcini Balls
  • Shallot slices (or green bean slices or black olive slices)
Method …
  1. Preheat oven to 180C (fan forced). Cook pasta in pot of boiling water until just cooked. Strain in a colander and set aside.
  2. Place onion, bacon and garlic in a frypan and saute gently until onion is transparent. There should be no need to add extra oil as the bacon should provide enough for cooking.
  3. Add celery, capsicum, carrot, corn and cherry tomatoes and saute gently for 3 – 4 minutes.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, pasta and basil and stir until combined.
  5. Spoon mixture into a large casserole dish or several smaller dishes to create individual serves. Sprinkle with grated cheese and parmesan and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese has melted and browned slightly.
  6. For a Halloween version, chop bocconcini balls in half and place randomly around top of pasta bake. Top each “eyeball” with a slice of shallot, green bean or sliced black olive to complete the eye.

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  1. Love the halloween touch! Great work with the eyeballs. I don’t think I’ll be cooking anything special for Halloween as by the time we get back from trick or treating I’ll probably just collapse on the couch and dial up a pizza. It’s so true that a pasta bake is a great way to use up leftover vegetables. I often do this with pasta – great with celery, zucchini and carrots xx

    • Thanks Charlie … the kids enjoy the “eyeballs” for Halloween! I like to keep it simple for Halloween as we seem to be up and down to the door every 5 minutes handing out treats. If the kids throw a Halloween Party, I’m also a big fan of food that can be prepared ahead of time so I don’t spend the night in the kitchen.