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    Spicy Pasta Bake with Sweet Pepper Meatballs

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    Spicy Pasta Bake with Sweet Pepper Meatballs

    This dish can be made ahead and will travel happily, ready to bake when you arrive at your Friday night destination. Use good-quality sausages to make quick and easy meatballs, and a tube-shaped pasta such as elicoidali, which keeps its shape and really holds the sauce.

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 40 minutes
    • Total time: 55 minutes 55 minutes

    Serves: 6

    Ingredients

    • 500g pack Waitrose Elicoidali dried pasta, or any other short pasta tubes, such as penne
    • 2 green chillies, sliced finely into rings
    • 700g jar Waitrose Cooks' Ingredients Passata
    • 200g tub Waitrose Marinated & Grilled Red & Yellow Peppers (from the prepacked deli section) cut into strips
    • 2 x 125g packs Galbani Italian Santa Lucia Mozzarella, drained and roughly torn into pieces
    • 400g pack Waitrose Pork, Smoked Sweet Pepper and Rosemary Sausages
    • 25g pack fresh basil, roughly torn (reserve some leaves for garnishing)

    Method

    1. Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling water for 2 minutes less than the recommended cooking time, to prevent the pasta from overcooking when it is baked.
    2. Drain the pasta thoroughly then tip into a large plastic container. Add the chillies and Passata. Add about 100ml water to the Passata jar, swirl it around to rinse out the sauce and pour over the pasta. Stir in the peppers and mozzarella and season to taste.
    3. Slit the skin on the sausages lengthways and remove the sausagemeat, discarding the skins. Place in a bowl then, using damp hands, shape into 12 golf ball-sized meatballs. Add to the pasta and gently stir in, with the basil. The pasta is now ready to be covered, chilled then placed in a cool box (2 hours max) to be transported to your destination.
    4. On arrival, preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Tip the pasta into an ovenproof dish or roasting tin and cook for 30-35 minutes, until the meatballs are thoroughly cooked and the mozzarella has melted and is bubbling. Serve immediately, garnished with the reserved basil leaves, with a crisp green salad.

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    Variation

    Use any good herby, spicy sausage and add some paprika when preparing the meatballs.

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