RECIPE: Mince & cheese pasta bake
A delicious variation on crowd-pleasing beef lasagne
30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
400g beef mince
1 x 680g bottle tomato passata
500ml (2 cups) milk
200g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, celery and carrot and cook until soft.
2. Add the beef mince and saute until the meat is browned.
3. Add the tomato passata, reduce the heat and simmer for a minimum of one hour.
4. Cook the rigatoni in boiling water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
5. To make the bechemal sauce, melt the butter over medium heat, add the flour and stir to combine. Gradually add the milk and, stirring with a whisk to avoid lumps, simmer until bubbling and thick in consistency.
6. Combine the cooked rigatoni with the beef, bechamel sauce and the grated cheese. Season to taste.
7. Pour the mixture into a greased oven-proof dish and cook in an oven preheated to 190°C for 45 minutes.