A lazy but sweet dinner

(Written on 6th August 2013)

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I have been extremely fatigue these days without any known reason, so I left my work pretty early today. It’s frustrating for being not productive these days at work due to other factors on top of my health issue, but I couldn’t be bothered more as I slept the whole afternoon away until L called me on his way home at 6pm.

Right, what about dinner. It’s my little sister’s birthday today but I am too tired to cook a proper dinner. We (my sister and I) expect a proper home-cooked Chinese dinner should be consisting at least 3 dishes, a meat dish, a vegetable dish and a soup. Additional one side dish would be the best. And to get that in 1.5 hour time after work is quite demanding especially for a good soup. L isn’t picky in this case as he could happily eat his dinner with just one dish as long as it is home-cooked.

L called again later because the car broke down. So I was all by my own to prepare the dinner. To save the time and energy, I looked for ready-to-use ingredients in the fridge and I found some leftover ham, a pack of baby spinach and an opened cheese block that I really want to use up as soon as possible.

A baked pasta will be good.

It was fast and sweet. I didn’t cook at my normal speed but I was able to get it done almost an hour including all the prep work. My little sister who prefers chinese meal seemed disappointed to see just one tray of baked pasta as a dinner. In the end she drank my instant miso soup to complete her birthday dinner.

Oh well, I guess I am not as unproductive as I imagined. I’ll do a birthday cake for her some day then when I get better.

Baked pasta with ham & spinach

Serves 3
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Meal type Lunch

Ingredients

  • 250g farfalle
  • 1 Large onion (cut into dices)
  • 120g ham (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 pack baby spinach (regular pack size from NTUC)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup milk (warm)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups grated Parmeson cheese (at least 2 cups)

Directions

Step 1
Add some salt into the boiling water and cook the pasta according to the package instruction. Drain the pasta and cover to keep warm.
Step 2
Melt 1 tbs butter in a frying pan and cook the onion until soft and translucent. Add the ham and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
Step 3
Put baby spinach into a large bowl and cook them at high heat using microwave for 1-2 minutes until wilt. Turn the spinach every 30 seconds to prevent burn. Preheat the oven at 200C.
Step 4
To make the pasta sauce, melt 1 1/2 tbs butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the flour and stir hard to get a smooth paste. Gradually add the milk, stir constantly. Simmer gently for 8-10 minutes or until the the sauce thicken. Stir frequently to prevent the sauce burning at the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 5
Mix onion, ham, spinach and pasta with the sauce in a large bowl and spread them evenly in a baking tray. Add the grated cheese on top and bake in the oven for 12 minutes.

Note

Increase the ingredients proportionately if you prefer a very creamy baked pasta with generous amount of sauce. The amount of sauce produced with this recipe is just enough to coat the 250g farfalle.

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