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Pasta Provencale

Equipment needed

  • Chopping board
  • sharp knife
  • large saucepan
  • small saucepan
  • frying pan
  • small bowl
  • small saucepan
  • colander
  • wooden spoon
  • grill or oven
  • oven proof dish
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Pasta provencale
(Serves 3-4)
Preparation time: 30-40 minutes
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes


For the tomato sauce

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp fresh herbs, finely chopped e.g. basil, oregano or 1 tsp dried
    herbs or 2 tbsp pesto
  • Black pepper

For the pasta

  • 250g wholemeal pasta

For the cheese sauce

  • 600ml/1 pint milk
    (reserve 2 tablespoon)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 250g cheddar, grated


  1. Heat the oil and fry the onion gently until soft but not browned (about 8 minutes).
  2. Add the garlic and fry for a minute or two.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix together and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan a simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary.
  4. Fill a large pan with water and bring it to the boil. Add the pasta, stir and lower the heat so that the water bubbles without boiling over. Cook for the length of time given on the packet. As soon as it is tender, drain in a colander and stir in a little oil
    to prevent it sticking together.
  5. While the tomato sauce and pasta are cooking, pour a little of the milk
    into a small bowl. Heat the rest in a saucepan with a bay leaf.
  6. Blend the cornflour and mustard with the cold milk in the bowl
    to a smooth cream. Pour some of the hot milk onto the mixture, give it a good stir and return it all to the pan. Let it come to the boil, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon, until it bubbles and thickens, keep stirring and gradually add the rest of the milk.
  7. Once the sauce has thickened, add three quarters of the cheese and stir until it has melted. Taste and season to your liking. Preheat grill or oven to hot setting.
  8. Combine the tomato sauce and pasta, and place in an ovenproof dish. Pour the cheese sauce over the top and sprinkle with the reserved cheese. Either place under the grill or in the oven, and allow the top to turn golden brown.

Budget tips: You can use dried herbs instead of fresh, UHT milk instead of fresh.

Storage: You can make this recipe in advance, up to stage 7, let it cool, cover and refrigerate or freeze. But make sure you bring it back to room temperature before you reheat it.

Swaps and additions: Add cooked chicken, salmon or tinned fish. Add chilli for flavour. Add tinned beans such as butterbeans.

Serving suggestions: Serve this dish with a green salad and some crusty bread.