Bacon, Fennel and Mushroom Pasta Bake – a simple but delicious cheesy pasta bake with the lovely smokey flavour of bacon and sweetness of fennel. A perfect combination!!
200g/7oz of uncooked pasta (fusilli or rotini is good for this)
200g/7oz of mushrooms sliced
1 large bulb of fennel (approx 300g/10.5oz), thinly sliced
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
6 slices of lean bacon (visible fat removed), chopped
2 cups (480ml) of chicken stock
1 tablespoon of cornstarch (1.5 syns)
4 tablespoon of low-fat cream cheese (4 syns)
1 tsp of wholegrain mustard (0.5 syns)
60g/2oz of mature cheddar (2xHEa’s), grated
100g/3.5oz of mozzarella (2xHEa), grated
fresh chopped Italian parsley
salt and black pepper.
Spray a frying pan over a medium high heat with some spray oil, add the onion, garlic and bacon and cook until slightly golden.
Add the fennel, mushrooms and about 1/2 cup of the stock and cook until that stock reduces down and the mushrooms become lightly golden.
Add the remaining stock, mustard into the pan, then mix the cornstarch with a couple of tablespoons of water to make a slurry and add this into the pan, stirring as you do,
Reduce heat and simmer for approx 15 mins, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens.
Preheat oven to 200c or 400f (gas mark 6)
Stir in the cream cheese until melted and sauce becomes creamy in appearance.
Season as needed with salt and black pepper.
Cook the pasta as per packet instructions to al dente, drain and set aside.
Add the bacon, fennel and mushrooms mix to an oven proof dish along with the pasta and mix well.
Top with the grated cheddar and mozzarella.
Bake in the oven until cheese is melted on top and lightly golden. (approx 30-35 mins)
Sprinkle with freshly chopped Italian parsley