Such a fun alternative to the ubiquitous spaghetti and sauce!
Use any shaped pasta you have on hand (or have been able to get at the shops), but penne and spirals seem to hold up to the extra heat quite well.
Add any veggies you like – some winners are usually grated carrot, grated zucchini, peas, frozen spinach, capscium, and even pumpkin. Brown lentils are also cool to add and will bump up your fibre and protein while still being super-cheap.
A mix of mozzarella and tasty or cheddar cheese is great for the top, but either on its own is fine.
In a large pot, boil the pasta according to packet directions, but turn off the heat and drain with about 2-3 minutes to go on the cooking time.
Meanwhile, in a large pot, brown the onion in a little olive oil over medium heat.
Add the garlic and saute 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, sugar, and pepper. Bring to a boil.
Add the fresh herbs and any veg you are using, grated or chopped into small pieces.
If you are using lentils, tinned are fine to go in as is, while dried will need some extra water in with them. I'd add the same amount of water as lentils and keep an eye on the levels as you go.
Simmer for as long as possible - 30 mins is good.
When the sauce and the pasta are ready, mix together and pour into a baking dish. Top with cheese.
You can also do up to this part in advance and leave in the fridge or even freeze.
Bake at 200C for about 20-20 minutes until heated through and cheese is golden brown.