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Halloween Recipe: Creamy pasta bake with beetroot & smoked ham

21st October 2013

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Halloween is a matter of days away... this warming beetroot-based dish is sure to suffice on a spooky evening in.

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

You’ll need:

375g dried pasta shapes, e.g. conchiglie, fusilli or penne

1 onion, finely chopped

50g unsalted butter

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 tbsp plain flour

450ml milk

150ml double cream (or use extra milk for a less rich option)

150g gruyere or mature cheddar, grated

200g piece smoked ham, torn into shreds

Small bunch chives, snipped

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

500g cooked beetroot (2 packs), cut into 1cm cubes

What to do:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

2. Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Drain and reserve.

3. Set a heavy based saucepan over a low heat, sweat the onion in the butter for 10-15 minutes until it starts to soften. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute before stirring through the flour.

4. Pour in milk and cream, and bring up to the boil, stirring constantly until thickened. Simmer steadily for 2-3 minutes to cook the flour.

5. Turn out the heat, stir through half the cheese, the ham and chives. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

6. Stir through the cooked pasta and beetroot and spoon into a baking dish. Scatter over the rest of the cheese and bake for about 20 mins golden brown and bubbling.

7. Serve immediately, accompanied by a green salad.

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