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Creamy baked penne with aubergine, spinach & tomato

Creamy baked penne with aubergine, spinach & tomato

Butter, soup, chocolate sauce – all the things you can make with leftover cream. Or try Elly Curshen's delicious creamy pasta bake

5 out of 5 stars(1) Rate this recipe
  • Serves4
  • CourseMain meal
  • Prepare15 mins
  • Cook35 mins
  • Total time50 mins
  • Plusstanding

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  • 250g Essential Penne
  • 3 tbsp Essential Olive Oil
  • 1 Essential Aubergine, cubed
  • 1 Essential Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano or dried basil
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 x 400g cans Essential Chopped Tomatoes
  • 250ml Essential Double Cream
  • 80g mozzarella, ready-grated or from a ball
  • ¼ x 260g pack Essential Spinach, washed
  • 50g Cooks’ Ingredients Panko Breadcrumbs (or homemade dried crumbs)
  • 30g Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated


  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6. Cook the penne in a large pan of salted, boiling water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in an ovenproof and flameproof dish. Add the aubergine and sauté over a medium-high heat until golden on all sides, about 5 minutes. Tip into a bowl and put to one side.

  2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in the same pan and add the onion. Sauté over a medium heat for about 3-4 minutes until softened and starting to brown. Add the garlic, salt and dried oregano or basil and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the chilli flakes, tomatoes and a splash of water

  3. Return the aubergine to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes over a low heat. Add the cream and remove from the heat. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the mozzarella, spinach, and plenty of black pepper. Mix well (the raw spinach will quickly wilt into the pasta) and spread out evenly in the pan. Scatter the panko evenly over the pasta and sprinkle the parmesan on top.

  4. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and bake for 25 minutes, until the topping is golden and crunchy. Leave for 5 minutes before serving with a crispy green salad.

Cook’s tip

If you have a splash of cream left, use to finish off a homemade vegetable soup, either on its own or with a little milk, if liked. If using single cream, add it at the end, then simmer gently to avoid boiling and splitting the cream.

Double, single, whipping and clotted cream can be frozen (for up to 1 month), but the texture will be affected. Due to the high fat content, it’s likely to go grainy, so use the defrosted cream in cooked dishes rather than for pouring. Freeze small amounts in ice-cube trays, then move to a container or bag. For whipped cream next time, whip it before freezing. Spoon dollops onto a baking sheet, freeze until solid, then pack into a suitable lidded container and freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost in the fridge. Do not freeze crème fraîche, soured cream or reduced fat creams.

If you fancy a sweet treat for one, you can make a quick small batch of chocolate sauce by melting a few squares of chocolate, then adding a spoonful of cream, plus an optional splash of your favourite liqueur or a little strong coffee. Stir well until thoroughly combined, then pour over ice cream and enjoy.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


3,212kJ/ 771kcals



Saturated Fat












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