I had some friends over for lunch a couple of weeks ago and I made this lovely pasta bake which feels and tastes very sumptuous. I served it with garlic bread and a green salad and then made apple and blackberry crumble for pudding.
Scrigno or Jewel Box Pasta (from The Top One Hundred Pasta Sauces by Diane Seed)
To make the tomato sauce
1 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 400g tins plum tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper
200ml double cream
150g Parmesan cheese, grated
6 thin slices ham, cut into 6 pieces
300g mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly
Heat the oil and gently fry the onion and garlic until softened. add the tomatoes with their juice, sugar, salt and pepper to taste and cook on a high flame, uncovered for 20 mins, stirring occasionally. When the sauce is reduced and thick, check the seasoning, then blitz with a hand blender.
Set aside 6 tbsp of the tomato sauce. Stir the cream into the rest of the tomato sauce together with one large spoonful of the Parmesan. Simmer for 10 mins.
Cook the pasta for half the time given in the packet instructions. Drain and add to the tomato and cream sauce, stirring thoroughly.
Put the pasta and sauce into a large ovenproof dish, cover with the ham in a single layer and then top with the mozzarella slices. Put the reserved tomato sauce on top and then sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
Cook in a hot oven at 220C for 20 mins.