Ham hock, sweet potato and spinach pasta bake

Imagine a com­pletely re-in­vented lasagne, where healthy veg­eta­bles turn it into a bril­liant fam­ily meal. Here it is.

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Food In A Flash -

Prepa­ra­tion time 15 mins plus 10 mins stand­ing time Cook­ing time 3 hours

Serves 8

1 ham hock

1L chicken stock

2 medium sweet pota­toes

4 whole brown onions

300g mac­a­roni

½ cup finely grated parme­san 50g un­salted but­ter, plus ex­tra

for greas­ing

Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground

black pep­per, to sea­son

2 bunches English spinach, trimmed 1½ cups fresh ri­cotta

Salad leaves, to serve

STEP 1 Pre­heat oven to 180°C fan­forced (200°C con­ven­tional). Line an oven tray with bak­ing pa­per.

STEP 2 Put ham hock and chicken stock in a medium saucepan. Add enough wa­ter to cover hock. Heat over medium heat un­til sim­mer­ing. Sim­mer for 2 hours, un­til hock is ten­der.

STEP 3 Mean­while, ar­range sweet pota­toes and onions on an oven tray. Bake for 1 hour, un­til ten­der.

STEP 4 Re­move hock from stock and set aside to cool. Shred meat, dis­card­ing bone. Strain stock and re­turn to saucepan.

STEP 5 Put saucepan with stock over a high heat and bring to a boil. Add mac­a­roni and cook for 11 min­utes, un­til al dente. Drain well, then toss with parme­san and but­ter.

STEP 6 Peel sweet pota­toes and onions and slice thickly. Sea­son.

STEP 7 Blanch spinach in boil­ing wa­ter for 1 minute. Drain and re­fresh un­der cold wa­ter. Drain and roughly chop.

STEP 8 Press mac­a­roni into sides of a 2½L greased casse­role dish (26cm wide, 5cm deep). Fill with lay­ers of sweet potato, spinach, ham, onions and ri­cotta.

STEP 9 Cover dish with foil. Bake for 40 min­utes. Stand for 10 min­utes, then in­vert onto a plate. Serve sea­soned with ex­tra pep­per, with salad leaves on the side.

A ham hock isn’t just for soup – use it to make a tasty and cheesy pasta bake in­stead

Ham hock, sweet potato and spinach pasta bake

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