Rigatoni pasta bake with carrot, fennel and red cabbage slaw

Serves: 6
Course: Dinner
  • For the slaw:
  • 25ml apple cider vinegar
  • 50ml light olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 fennel, thinly sliced
  • ¼ red cabbage, finely sliced
  • For the pasta
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 380g minced beef
  • 250g mozzarella cheese, torn into bite size pieces
  • 50g grated Coolea cheese
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped herbs (oregano or basil)
  • 2 x 500g cartons of tomato passata
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 500g dried rigatoni pasta
  • Fresh basil or oregano

1 Whisk the slaw dressing ingredients together. Fold in the carrot, fennel and cabbage. Taste for seasoning. Set aside.

2 Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

3 Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan, add the onion and sauté until soft. Add the garlic and stir for a minute until fragrant. Add the beef mince, season with salt and pepper. Cook over a high heat until the beef is browned well, about 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

4 Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water until just al dente. Drain in a colander. Add the pasta to the pot of beef and stir to combine. Add the herbs, passata and one tsp of sugar. Stir well to combine. Fold in half of the mozzarella.

5 Transfer the pasta to a large 9x13 inch oven-safe dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheeses. Bake until golden and bubbling, for 30 minutes.

6 Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes, then top with fresh herbs before serving.

Lilly Higgins

Lilly Higgins

Lilly Higgins, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a food writer