Meaty Pasta Bake


  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) olive oil
  • onion
  • 2 sticks celery, sliced (optional)
  • 3-4 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs rosemary (optional)
  • 700g beef mince
  • Salt and milled pepper
  • carrots, grated
  • 1 large packet (100g) tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
  • 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes (or you can grate 8 large tomatoes instead)
  • 1 cup (250ml) beef stock
  • 1 tsp (5ml) sugar
  • Chopped parsley
  • 350g penne pasta, par-cooked for 5 minutes (macaroni or fusilli works well too)
  • 3 Tbsp (45ml) butter
  • ⅓ cup (50g) cake flour
  • 2¼ cups (560ml) milk
  • Salt and milled pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 2 cups (250g) grated mature or regular cheddar

Green salad, for serving


  1. Heat oil in a pan and sauté onion and celery for 8-10 minutes over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and rosemary, if using, and cook for 30-60 seconds.
  3. Stir in mince and brown well. Season.
  4. Add remaining ingredients (except pasta) and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Spoon mince into a 2L oven dish.
  6. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  7. For sauce, heat butter in a pot until melted.
  8. Add flour and cook for 30-60 seconds, stirring to combine.
  9. Gradually add milk in a steady stream, whisking constantly and briskly.
  10. Once all the milk is added, season, add nutmeg and bring to a boil. (It should bubble for 2-3 minutes to cook through).
  11. Remove from heat.
  12. Add cheese and melt while whisking to mix.
  13. Toss sauce through pasta and spoon over mince.
  14. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden.
  15. Serve with a crisp green salad.