Cataclysmic Cook Series – Supper on a Shoestring

Ham Pasta Bake

This is a very quick and easy recipe and comes out at less than £1 a head to feed four people.  Useful with Christmas just around the corner!

I think the key to getting away with giving the family the same meat for several days is to disguise it in as many ways as possible so they don’t notice.  Alternatively you can freeze it in portions.

A 1.3kg joint of unsmoked gammon costs about £6 at a leading supermarket.  Last Sunday, I served it as a roast with a sage and onion sauce and on Monday it made a reappearance in the guise of a cold cut with home-make *chutney, salad  and jacket potatoes.

I had a few grams of the gammon left so Tuesday saw it metamorphosize into a pasta bake.  I used penne but I think it would work just as well with farfalle.  It’s also a great way of eating up the remnants of vegetables we all find surreptitiously lurking in the bottom of the fridge.  So with the odd carrot, bit of cabbageleek and courgette you can throw together a tasty meal and tell the family it’s fusion cooking.  I added a few frozen peas, sweetcorn and a clove of garlic.

I sweated off most of the veg, having shredded the cabbage very finely.  I added the peas, courgette and sweetcorn after the rest of the veg had been softened.  I boiled the pasta for about eight minutes and mixed it all together in a large casserole dish.

I made a cheese sauce (to be honest, I forgot the cheese so had to sprinkle it over the top).IMG_7185  I used a dash of Worchester sauce and some herbs; on this occasion, sweet basil and parsley.  I added pepper but no salt as I think gammon has sufficient.

This can be prepared in advance and popped in the oven on the timer so that it’s ready when you get in from work.  I usually give it about 50 minutes in a moderate oven so that the top is golden and a bit crispy.

*Home-made chutney recipe link below:

Next in the series, meatballs on a shoestring.


About jhbooksblog

Hello - I'm Julie Haiselden, an occasional NHS med sec/practice administrator. Mother of three, wife of one, a chaotic cook and published crime/thriller novelist who blogs a bit about books, life and food. School alumna. Occasional am-dram actress/director. I enjoy walking and photography (although my enthusiasm outweighs my skill set). I've recently joined the reviewing team at Whispering Stories and can be found via the following social media sites: I also accept a few hard copy novels to review.
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