Baked pasta with courgettes, cheese and béchamel – Kabaklı peynirli fırın makarna

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This is a delicious, easy, comforting pasta bake that you can prepare ahead. Dried mint adds a refreshing touch; I used medium cheddar, though you can use any melting cheese you like – I love grated halloumi here too. I try to squeeze in vegetables into my pasta bakes and bountiful courgettes work well here; feel free to use other vegetables in hand too.

Serve this delicious pata bake with a refreshing salad. Shepherd’s Salad, Coban Salatasi, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, for instance would be a wonderful match served aside.  Please kindly note that this pasta bake is not included in my cookery book. Afiyet Olsun.

Baked pasta with courgettes, cheese and béchamel – Kabaklı peynirli fırın makarna

 

Author:

Recipe type: Vegetarian pasta bake

Cuisine: Turkish / Mediterranean

  • 2 medium courgettes, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1tsp dried mint
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 450g penne (or pasta or your choice)
  • 110g grated mild cheddar (to sprinkle on top)
  • For the white sauce:
  • 480ml warm milk (I prefer whole milk)
  • 110g grated medium cheddar
  • 45g unsalted butter
  • 3tbsp plain flour
  1. Place grated courgettes in a bowl, sprinkle salt over top and leave to drain for 10 minutes. Then squeeze out the excess moisture, leave a side.
  2. Pour olive oil in a wide pan, stir in the courgettes and garlic; sauté over medium to high heat for 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add dried mint, combine well and set aside to cool.
  3. Cook the pasta al dente (as suggested on its package), drain, and place on a large mixing bowl. Drizzle a little olive oil and combine so it won’t stick. Set aside.
  4. Preheat fan oven to 180C/350F.
  5. Make the white sauce by melting the butter in a medium sized pan, on a low to medium heat. Add the flour and beat well. Slowly add the warm milk whisking continuously to get a smooth consistency and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until the sauce is thickened. Stir in the sautéed courgettes and cheese and combine well. Turn the heat off.
  6. Combine the sauce with the cooked pasta in the large bowl, mix well. Place and spread the mixture in a 30x25cm baking dish. Sprinkle 110g grated cheese over and bake in the preheated oven for 18 – 20 minutes, until it is golden on top.
  7. Let it cool for 10 minutes, then slice and serve with a refreshing salad. Shepherd’s Salad, Coban Salatasi, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, for instance would be a wonderful match served aside. Please kindly note that this pasta bake is not included in my cookery book. Afiyet Olsun.

3.5.3251

 

About Ozlem Warren

Merhaba, this is Ozlem. I am a native of Turkey, and passionate about my homeland and the healthy, delicious, Turkish Cuisine. I hope you enjoy my recipes here and I look forward to hearing from you – Afiyet Olsun!

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