Pasta Cheese Bake

17 Sep 2023

Use any type of pasta shapes for this variation on macaroni cheese.


150g button OR chestnut mushrooms
1 clove garlic
200g broccoli, green beans OR peas
1 slice bread OR small bread roll (optional)
75g reduced-fat mature Cheddar cheese
300g pasta shapes (such as macaroni OR penne)
1 x 15ml spoon vegetable oil
1 x 5ml spoon dried oregano OR mixed herbs

All-in-one white sauce
500ml semi-skimmed milk
50g plain flour
50g unsaturated fat spread
1 x 5ml spoon mustard
Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)


Weighing scales
Food processor or
blender (if making breadcrumbs)
Large saucepan with lid
Chopping board
Sharp knife
Measuring spoons
Small pan
Pan stand
Wooden spoon
Large ovenproof serving dish (to fit under the grill)
Measuring jug
Small whisk


  1. Wipe the mushrooms and wash the broccoli, beans or peas. Peel and finely chop the garlic.
  2. Make the breadcrumbs in a food processor.
  3. Grate the cheese.
  4. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
  5. While the pasta is cooking, cut the beans into 2cm pieces or break the broccoli into small florets. Add the beans, broccoli or peas to the pasta halfway through the cooking time.
  6. Cut the mushrooms into quarters. Heat the oil in the small pan and add the mushrooms, garlic and herbs. Fry for 4-5 minutes on a medium heat.
  7. Put the garlic mushrooms into the serving dish.
  8. Drain the pasta and vegetables through a colander and return to the pan, saving some of the cooking liquid.
  9. Make the all-in-one white sauce in the small saucepan by whisking together the milk, spread and flour over a low heat until it starts to thicken and comes to the boil. Simmer for a minute. Keep the heat as low as possible and stir constantly, getting right into the edges of the pan, to make sure the sauce doesn’t stick.
  10. Stir the mustard and half the grated cheese into the white sauce.
  11. Add the sauce to the pasta and vegetables and stir everything together. Heat on a medium heat until
    starting to simmer. Add black pepper to taste and cayenne pepper (if using)
  12. Pour the pasta into the serving dish. Scatter the breadcrumbs (if using) and remaining cheese over the top.
  13. Adjust the grill pan or shelf so that the dish will be positioned about 6cm from the grill. Turn the grill on to a medium to high heat and place the dish under the grill. Leave until golden brown (about 5 minutes, depending upon the grill).

Skills used include:
Washing, weighing, measuring, chopping, mixing/combining, boiling/simmering and grilling.

Something to try next time

  • Add 50g of small pieces of ham or cooked bacon to the pasta.
  • Grill halved tomatoes sprinkled with herbs to serve as an accompaniment.

Prepare now, eat later

  • After pouring into the serving dish at step 12, cover with cling film and either freeze for up to 2 months or store in the fridge for up to 2 days. When needed, defrost fully or remove from the fridge. Complete step 12 by adding the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs (if using). Reheat in the oven for 20–30 minutes at 180°C/160°C fan or gas mark 4 until crisp and golden on top.