Leftover Traybake thing

Mathew’s rather taken with a meat feast traybake that’s available from one of our supermarkets. Whilst it’s good to see him devouring pasta, cheese, tomato sauce and various bits of meat I’m not entirely happy with the amount of fat he’s eating. Plus at £3 a pop it’s not ideal.

I thought it can’t be that difficult to make at home using leftovers so I thought I’d give it a try. After a bit of trial and error I think I’ve got it pretty spot on.

The beauty is that it can all be put together in advance, maybe even frozen, and heated up in the oven making it a perfect midweek meal.


  • 120g dry pasta
  • 150g grated hard cheese (I use 50/50 cheddar and Double Gloucester)
  • 4 baby corn cobs
  • 40g chorizo
  • 40g Salami
  • 40 cooked chicken
  • 5tbsps tomato sauce (tomatoes, red pepper, red onion, garlic – cook for 30 mins and blend to smooth sauce.  Chill)
  • Pepperoni slices

To make the sauce, sweat the onion, pepper and garlic in a little oil and water for about 5 mins or so. If the onions start to fry and turn golden, add a splash of water. Chop the tomatoes and add to the pan, skin and all. Cover and simer for about 20-30 mins. Uncover and blend to a smooth paste. Allow to cool so that it thickens.

Cook the pasta in boiling water for 10 mins. Drain and allow to cool completely. Cook the cobs for 3 mins in boiling water and again, cool rapidly and pat dry. Slice the corn into ‘flowers’. Cut the chorizo, salami and chicken into 5mm cubes.

Mix the meat, corn and pasta together and add the tomato sauce. Stir in the grated cheese reserving some to sprinkle on top.

Transfer to an ovenproof dish. arrange the slices of pepperoni on top and scatter the remaining cheese on top. Cover with foil.

When it’s needed, preheat the oven to 200C and bake for 20 mins. Remove the foil and bake for a further 10 mins.

This lends itself to almost any combination of savoury bits and pieces you can think of. Try adding mushroom, courgettes, peas, fresh tomatoes, olives, cubed feta, the list is almost endless.


Chickeny Tomatoey Thingummy

Not really sure what dish this is but it’s damn tasty. At the weekend the freezer went on the fritz so I was left with a load of chicken thighs that needed cooking. Grabbing what was to hand I had the following:

  • 6 boned and skinned chicken thighs 
  • An onion
  • A red pepper
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1tsp dried tarragon
  • Oil

The onion and garlic were chopped and fried until soft. I added the diced pepper and the chicken and put a lid on the pan. After about 20mins I added the chopped tomatoes and the tarragon, replaced the lid and cooked the ‘stew’ for about 10 mins then took the lid off to evaporate some of the liquid. 

Before serving I added a tablespoon of butter to thicken the sauce and added a few twists of salt and pepper to taste. The tomatoey chicken was served with roast potatoes