So... I have been having a rough time at one of my (two) jobs: following an exhausting period of working with an extremely difficult boss at a shop I disliked, I built up the courage to tell her (or rather, text her) how I felt; in short, I quit. Like starting a new job, leaving an old one can be very tiring and all-consuming. And, as always, the greatest comfort comes in the form of dinner... So this pasta-bake was just the thing for me - laden with melted mozzarella but not too heavy, being interspersed with chopped olives, parsley and a light tomato sauce. Read on for the recipe, and prepare to sit down with a big bowl of it in front of a movie...
Ingredients (to feed three generously):
2 x cans of good chopped tomatoes
drizzle of olive oil
1 garlic clove to flavour oil only
small packet of cubed pancetta
large handful of parsley
likewise kalamata olives (again!)
shake 0f dried oregano, salt and pepper
500g of Conchigilie or other pasta shape
1 LARGE packet of mozzarella
Simply throw a whole garlic clove into a pan of olive oil - once it has browned a bit remove it. Add the pancetta and let this golden before throwing in two cans of chopped tomatoes; dice some olives or add them whole, along with the oregano, salt and pepper. Divide your chopped parsley into two heaps and add half now. Meanwhile the pasta needs to be only part-boiled, and then thrown into the pan with the sauce and mixed around, before dolloping the whole lot into a big enough dish to bake it in. Lastly I roughly tore up the mozzarella into chunks and poked it into crevices, in the middle and on top of the pasta. When it has been cooking in the oven for about 3omins (on 180c) take it out and throw on the rest of the parsley: the cheese should be stringy and spread throughout the dish. Serve up and enjoy. (PS basil would also be wonderful in this sauce).