A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Tenderstem® asking me whether I’d be interested in coming up with an interesting recipe idea. Tenderstem® is basically broccoli crossed with Chinese kale. It’s sweeter than traditional broccoli and, as you’ve probably guessed, the stems are much softer so you can eat it whole rather than chop them off.
At first I was doubtful whether to take them up on the offer because, I’ll be honest, I’m not a great cook but I thought I might as well give it a go and try doing something new. I didn’t have anything to lose! After a long think I came up with a cheesy pasta bake with Tenderstem® and bacon and my mum suggested that I add some mushrooms too.
To make my cheesy pasta bake you’ll need:
- One jar of cheesy pasta bake sauce (I used Homepride but there are others available)
- 200g pasta
- 200g bacon lardons
- 200g mushrooms
- 220g Tenderstem® broccoli
- 150g grated cheese
If you follow the recipe and use the exact ingredients then the pasta bake should serve four people. Like I say, I’m not a great cook, so I tried to keep my recipe as simple as possible.
- Firstly I boiled the Tenderstem® for six minutes and fried the bacon lardons and mushrooms until the bacon crisped up. Then I drained the Tenderstem® and used some kitchen roll to soak some of the fat from the bacon lardons and mushrooms.
- Next I weighed out 200g of pasta and put it into a large rectangular oven dish. Then I followed the instructions on the jar which basically involved mixing the cheesy sauce with half a jar of water and a splash of milk.
- Then I mixed the cheesy mixture, pasta, bacon lardons, mushrooms and Tenderstem® together and spread it out evenly. I put it in the oven at 170°C for 20 minutes. I’ve got a fan oven so if yours isn’t then set it at 190°C instead.
- After 20 minutes I took the pasta out of the oven, gave it a stir and added grated cheese all over the top and then I put it back in the oven for 25 minutes.
When I took it out of the oven it looked bubbly and delicious. When I first had the idea for the pasta bake I honestly didn’t know how it was going to turn out. My family had even joked that they might be in neighbouring hospital beds if I gave everyone food poisoning, but it was genuinely so tasty. I’ve already insisted that I’m going to make it again!
I’d like to say a huge thank you to Tenderstem® for giving me this opportunity and encouraging me to step outside my normal blogging bubble. It’s been great to try something different! If you’d like to try some other recipes with Tenderstem® then you can find loads more on their recipe page. I’ve got my eye on the pork meatball and roast squash one-pan bake!
Let me know what you think of my recipe and let me know if you’d like to try it yourself. Have you tried Tenderstem® before? If not, has my cheesy pasta bake tempted you to give it a go?
Tenderstem® gifted me a voucher to purchase the ingredients for my pasta bake in exchange for this post.