This baked pasta recipe is delightfully creamy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Pineapple tidbits add a sweet surprise to the overall savoury flavour and give an added punch to this heartwarming pasta recipe, while the tomatoes add moisture and colour.
Baked Pasta with Pineapple, Corn & Twin Cheese Sauce:
Difficulty Level: Easy
- Pasta – 125 g
- All Purpose Flour (Maida) – 2.5 tbsp
- Butter – 4 tbsp
- Pineapple Tidbits – 1 tbsp
- Corn kernels – 100 g
- Bread Slices – 3 (I used brown bread, white bread can also be used)
- Salt – 1 Tsp
- Milk (full cream) – 1.5 cup
- Black Pepper – 1 tsp (freshly cracked) more for seasoning
- Tomatoes – 3
- Cheddar Cheese – 3/4 cup
- Mozzarella Cheese – 1 cup
- Pre-heat oven at 180-degree centigrade. Butter the baking dish (preferably a shallow dish) and set aside.
- Remove crust of the bread slices and gently tear them into breadcrumbs. Place the bread crumbs in a medium-sized bowl and pour one tablespoon of butter over them. Toss and set aside.
- Warm milk in a pan. Do not boil it. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized saucepan with high sides heat the remaining butter. When butter melts and begins frothing, add Maida in increments while stirring continuously with a whisk. Cook for around a minute or two. While whisking, slowly pour the warm milk a little at a time to form a smooth mixture.
- Continue whisking for around 6 to 8 minutes till the mixture begins to bubble and has no lumps.
- Remove pan from the heat once mixture becomes thick. It should coat the back of your spoon.
- Now add freshly cracked black pepper, half of the cheddar and half of the mozzarella cheese and salt. Set the sauce aside.
- Cover a pot of salted water and set to boil. Cook pasta till almost done. The pasta when tasted should be chewy and not done completely. It takes around 5 to 6 minutes.
- Remove pasta from heat and transfer to a colander/ strainer. Rinse under cold water and set aside to drain.
- Drain corn kernels and rinse in water. Set aside to drain.
- Drain pineapple tidbits and rinse in water to remove excess of the sugar solution. Set aside to drain.
- Mix the pasta, corn kernels and pineapple bits in the prepared cheese sauce. Stir well.
- Pour the mixture in the prepared baking dish.
- Sprinkle the buttered bread crumbs over the top. I have used brown bread slices, hence the colour.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheddar and mozzarella cheese over the bread crumb layer.
- Decorate with thick tomato slices on top and sprinkle some cracked black pepper.
- Bake until golden brown. It usually takes 25 to 30 minutes.
- Serve hot.
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