Friday, 12 December 2008

Mum's Brains (Halloumi and Tomato Pasta Bake)

This recipe was made up by my mother many years ago. We could never think of a good name for it so after a while when asked what was going to be for dinner she'd reply 'brains'.


  • 450g Pasta, fusilli works well

  • 2 blocks of halloumi cheese

  • 1 onion, pealed and chopped

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 courgette, sliced with both ends removed

  • 250g mushrooms, sliced

  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced

  • 2 tins of tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 2 vegetable stock cubes

  • 1 tablespoon of thyme

  • 50g cheddar cheese, grated


  1. Put on a large pot of water to boil and add some salt and some oil if desired

  2. Place onion and olive oil in a pan and 'sweat' by heating on a medium heat with the lid on for 5 minutes

  3. Add the mushrooms and courgette to the onion and again cover with the lid for 5 minutes, stir and then cook for another couple of minutes

  4. While this is happening break the halloumi up with your fingers into small chunks, about an inch square or less

  5. Heat a frying pan on a moderate heat and add about half the halloumi chunks

  6. While the halloumi heats, add the tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, stock and thyme to the onion and mushroom mix and cover with a lid after stiring

  7. Turn the halloumi around in the pan every few minutes until it is golden brown on one or two of the sides of each piece

  8. Empty the halloumi into a large overproof dish and repeat the same process on the remaining halloumi, if you don't have a large ovenproof dish then two smaller ones works just as well

  9. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees

  10. Stir the tomato and mushroom mixture

  11. The water for the pasta should hopefully be boiling, so add the pasta and start a timer for the time specified on the packet

  12. Check that the halloumi hasn't burnt and transfer it to the overproof dish when it seems done

  13. Stir the tomato and mushroom mixture

  14. When the pasta is done, drain it and mix it with the tomato and mushroom sauce in the overproof dish with the halloumi and stir well

  15. Top with the grated cheese and place in the oven for 10 minutes or until the top is melted and nicely browned off.

Serves 4 hungry people.


  1. Despite the slightly odd name I can confirm that the braisn do indeed taste delicious. :)

  2. If it's good enough for zombies it's good enough for me.

  3. I love halloumi and your recipe sounds yummy. Will give your mom's brain a try.