This is a pretty serious pasta bake. We’ve used our awesome spicy chipotle meatballs and thrown them in with a rich tomato and red pepper sauce marbled with a velvety mozzarella and parmesan white sauce to make something very special indeed.
Add sugar, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and gran luchito smoked chilli paste
Give the meatballs some colour
Blitz the tomato sauce in a food processor and season
Stir in meatballs, pasta and torn basil
Add mozzarella to cheese sauce
Fold cheese sauce through tomato sauce and pasta then top with extra mozzarella and salt & pepper
Bake until golden and bubbling
How to make it
To Make The Cheese Sauce
Once you have your meatballs ready, make a roux. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour. Stir until you have a paste and cook for about 10 minutes over a low heat (taking care not to burn it). The mix should get a bit darker.
Gradually whisk in the milk, getting rid of any lumps. Continue cooking until it comes almost to the boil and thickens, stirring occasionally.
Add the Parmesan and half the mozzarella and stir in. Once melted, set aside whilst you prepare the rest
To Make The Tomato Sauce
Heat a little of the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, add the onion, garlic, oregano and red pepper. Cook for about 20 minutes until the onion and pepper are soft.
Blitz in a food processor until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 5–6 minutes until al dente, stirring regularly. Drain.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F, Gas 4).
Gently mix the pasta, meatballs, basil and tomato sauce in a large ovenproof dish. Use a spatula to partially fold in the cheese sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella, a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper.
Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the top is golden and the edges are crusty.
Tried this recipe? Got suggestions? Let us know...