12 April 2016

A Thrifty Pasta Bake and My Favourite Bread Flour

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I'm trying to get back into my old habits of making all my meals from scratch again and not falling into the trap of using ready meals because I'm tired and fed up when I get back from work. It's also a lot cheaper, which helps to keep my spending down, essential now I'm trying to pay off my credit cards so I can get rid of them. Pasta is usually my go-to-stand-by meal when I'm watching the pennies and I absolutely love pasta bakes. They're versatile, you can put anything in them and they are so easy to make. But, believe it or not, I have actually found an even easier way. In my local Morrissons, they often have special offers on fresh pasta ravioli, which I love, so when it's on offer, usually at £1 per bag, I buy a whole load of them and pop them in the freezer. Then I simply use them straight from the freezer to make a totally delicious ravioli pasta bake. It takes about 15 minutes from start to finish and it hardly costs anything. 

I used:

1 bag of fresh ravioli that I had frozen - straight from the freezer no need to defrost. (£1)
1 tin of tomatoes (33p)
3 teaspoons of red pesto to give depth of flavour (about 30p)
3 cloves of garlic - cos I love garlic but you don't need to add it if you don't like it (about 20p)
half a can of cold water
Grated cheese for the top (about 40p - cos I love cheese)

I simply popped the frozen ravioli into a baking dish, fried the garlic in a little oil in a saucepan to soften it before adding the tinned tomatoes, the red pesto and the water. I added a pinch of salt and poured the tomato mixture over the ravioli, topped it with grated cheese, covered it with foil and baked it in the oven until the ravioli was tender. I usually serve it with a crispy salad and garlic bread for a deliciously filling supper but I didn't have any salad in the house and my salad leaves aren't ready to pick yet so I just dived right in. 

While the oven was on, I also popped in a loaf of bread that had been proving and rising for a couple of hours. I have found the most amazing flour. It's called Mathews Cotswold Eight Grain Flour ........ no idea what the eight grains actually are but it makes amazing bread with a lovely nutty taste. I got it from my local Aldi a few weeks ago. It's not a regular stock item in the shop and they only have it every so often so when I see it I buy 3 or 4 bags. At £1.70 ish, it's a bit more expensive than the bog standard strong white bread flour I usually get but it makes such delicious bread I really don't care.


  1. Pasta bake looks gorgeous, oh if only I wasn't so clumsy and disorganised

  2. I've got the grandchildren staying over on Saturday night, so that Pasta Bake will be Saturday's supper - thank you! And I must try to find that flour because the bread sounds delicious.

  3. Just wanted to say - I got the children to help prepare the meal: little 'un tipped the ravioloi into the pie dish and spread them out; big 'un made the sauce and I heated it and poured it over the ravioli. They both sprinkled lots of grated cheese on top before I put it in the oven along with the garlic flatbread I'd made. I had one portion, little 'un had one portion and big 'un had 3 portions which emptied the dish, so you could say that your recipe was a resounding success! I suspect it will become a firm favourite. Thank you

  4. I have just discovered the cotswolds flours ( I now live in that area) and they are so good.

  5. We use Giovanni's pasta too, excellent value.
    (from another Cornish blogger!)