Pasta bake is a comfort food that everyone loves. It’s easy, delicious and hearty. This is exactly what I had in mind when created this egg penne pasta bake with asparagus. Pasta like Penne, Conchiglie (shells), macaroni and fusilli are great for one-pan oven dishes. These kinds of pasta are dense enough to not get easily overcooked (or mushy) but still small enough to soak in the flavour and richness of the sauce. Their shapes also help to hold within them the sauce. So upon each bite, there is a burst of flavourful sauce within the pasta.
For this egg penne pasta bake with asparagus, I opted for some classic ingredients. Such as tomato sauce, cheese (grana Padano) and basil. Plus everyday ingredients that we all have in the kitchen, eggs. A usual addition to pasta bakes, especially with the way I’ve used it in this dish. Instead of the typical egg sauce (that is mixed with cheese etc.), I wanted the eggs to shine as a whole. Not just as a binder in the dish but for its own unique flavour and beauty that balances the dish out. Then my final addition was finger-snapping asparagus. A perfect addition to any dish made during springtime. Perfect to eat when in season, bringing more freshness and vibrancy to this dish.
From cooking the pasta in a pot, to mixing it in with the cheese and sauce. Then layered in a baking dish topped with eggs and asparagus. All that was needed was some light seasoning, a few minutes in the oven and a delicious dinner (or lunch) is served!
Egg Penne Pasta Bake with Asparagus
- 6 eggs
- 500 g penne
- 300 g cooked tomato sauce
- 150 g asparagus tips
- ½ cup Grated grana padano (or as much as you want)
- 1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
- 4 fresh basil leafs
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Pour in the penne pasta and cook for 8 minutes.
- Drain and transfer the cooked pasta into a baking dish. Pour in the cooked tomato sauce, olive oil, chopped garlic and 1/3 cup of cheese (leaving the rest for a later). Using your fingers, roughly tear the fresh basil leafs into the pan, then mix everything together.
- Spread the pasta evenly over the pan, then crack the eggs one at a time all over the surface.
- Lay the asparagus on top, but keep the egg yolks exposed. Drizzle some olive oil on top and finish with a light dust of salt and pepper.
- Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Once cooked, serve unto a plate and finish with the leftover cheese.