This recipe was something a friend of mine, Farah, used to make for our group at dinner time, and it became a regular at our sometimes late-night meals as students. She shared the recipe with us a few months back - she got it from an Arabic recipe website, and translated it into English for us.
I've made it twice now, adding some touches of my own and playing around with the measurements. Half pasta and half pizza, the result is a creamy and smooth pasta enhanced with the strong flavours of pizza toppings.
Your choice of pasta. Penne or macaroni works great. 1 cup thickened cream 2 tbsp mayonnaise 2 tbsp cream cheese 1/2 sliced yellow onion 1 sliced red pepper 100g sliced mushrooms (button or Shiitake is fine)
Tomato based pasta sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
A pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 tbsp butter
1) Preheat the oven to 190°C.
2) Boil pasta until al dente.
3) While pasta is boiling, mix the cream, mayonnaise and cream cheese. Add salt, black pepper and white pepper to taste. Add in a pinch of ground nutmeg.
4) Once pasta is done boiling, drain and mix with a half tablespoon of butter.
5) Stir in the pasta with the cream mixture and pour into a casserole dish.
Done with the macaroni, on with the tomato based sauce.
7) From this point onwards, it's just a matter of putting the toppings on like you would a pizza. Add the mushrooms, onions, pineapple chunks and peppers (use some green pepper if you want some extra colour).
8) Finish it off with a generous topping of cheese. You can use mozzarella, but I find that the packets of pizza cheese you can get from the supermarket works really well and adds to the pizza style flavour.
9) Bake the dish for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the cheese has started to turn reddish-brown.
It's a simple baked meal that's also vegetarian! It's pretty flexible as well - if you like meat with your food, you can always add some chicken chunks or ground beef to give it that meaty edge. It can even work well with seafood. Pretty much anything that goes well on a pizza, can work for this tasty dish.