Do you ever feel disappointed that you didn’t think of something sooner? That’s how I felt about this amazing fish pie pasta bake. But my disappointment was mitigated by the fact that I could eat a big plateful of deliciousness – creamy, gooey, fishy deliciousness, with the added benefit of pasta! Seriously, how did I not think of this before?
In fairness, it seems that no-one else thought of it either. Once I’d had the idea to hybridise fish pie and pasta bake, I had a quick squizz at Pinterest to see how others had approached it. And apparently, no one has! There were salmony pasta dishes and the like, but nothing that combines the comfortingly creamy filling of a really great fish pie, with the golden cheesy topping and hunger-satisfying qualities of a pasta bake.
The other massive advantage to this fish pie pasta bake is that it’s considerably less effort than a fish pie, while being just as good (if not better). I don’t know about you, but once I’ve made the filling for the fish pie (poached the fish, made the sauce, mixed it all together…), to then have to faff about mashing potato and arranging it on top (without burning your fingers)…urrrgh. This way you simply have to drain the pasta and mix it all together. Bish bash bosh and Bob’s your uncle. Yum.
(Oh, and don’t tell DH or Kipper, but I made this with oat milk and vegan ‘cheese’ so the fish pie pasta bake you see looking all golden and tempting in the photos is actually dairy free. You are of course welcome to make it with cows’ milk and standard cheese if you don’t have a sensitive tummy like me.)
It’s a testament to how yummy this was that there were NO LEFTOVERS. I was hoping to get it for lunch the next day but I was denied a second dose of deliciousness because DH and Kipper (oh, OK, and me too) polished off the whole thing between us at dinnertime. Seriously, yum.
Fish pie pasta bake. Hurrah!
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- 250g salmon fillet
- 250g hake (or other white fish) fillet
- 500ml milk or dairy-free alternative (2 cups)
- 1 bayleaf
- 1 leek
- 15g margarine or butter (1 tbsp)
- 10g flour (1 tbsp)
- 160-180g penne or other short pasta shapes
- 1 tbsp finely chopped dill
- 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- 50-70g grated cheese (or vegan alternative)
- Rinse and pat dry the salmon and hake fillets, and cut into 1.5-2cm cubes.
- Heat the milk in a wide saucepan until just boiling. Add the fish pieces and the bayleaf, and poach for around 2 minutes until the fish is just cooked. Remove the fish with a slotted spoon, place in a bowl and set aside. Discard the bayleaf, pour the hot milk into a jug and set aside.
- Trim the leek and wash well to remove any grit. Slice into 5mm rounds.
- Wipe out the saucepan and return to the heat. Melt the margarine or butter, and add the slice leeks to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, over a medium heat, until the leeks are softened.
- Add the flour to the leeks and mix well to coat. Pour the reserved milk back into the pan and stir well. Cook, stirring, until the sauce comes to a simmer and thickens. Cook for another minute, still stirring, then remove from the heat.
- Cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet. Drain well.
- Add the cook fish, the drained pasta, the dill and the parsley to the leek sauce and stir gently to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning if required.
- Pour the fish mixture into a baking dish and sprinkle the grated cheese over. Preheat the grill to high.
- Cook the dish under the grill for about 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling, and browning in patches.
- Sprinkle with a little more parsley if desired, and serve at once.
I’m linking this recipe up with CookBlogShare, hosted this week by Hijacked By Twins.