It seems that winter is starting to claim autumn from us, littering the ground with autumn leaves and whispering a chill to the morning air, thoughts of gloves on some days when I walk to work seems a given, and all I really want to do lately is eat. In my head its salad but when it comes to cooking comfort food is calling me! 
As you may have guessed by now Pasta bake in one of its various and many forms is one of my favourite comfort foods and when naughty pictures appeared on my facebook feed, posted by another blogger called Kavey, of her mums macaroni cheese it had me craving it all week, and after accidentally buying 0% fat crème fraiche rather than the more usual full fat option I decided to give in to my cravings and embark on a slightly healthier version of pasta bake…at least I can kind of pretend its healthier… well I did use high fibre macaroni too! There is a little white wine, mainly as I happened to be partaking in a glass at the time but you could use vermouth, or a little extra stock if you don’t drink/ have any in.
Overall it was a good success, though I might sneak in a little more cheese next time! The macaroni wasn’t swimming in sauce but not dry either, a good balance really! The smoked trout was delicious – I am not a huge fan of Trout ‘au naturel’ but thanks to a kind forum friend a few months back I quite enjoy smoked trout now, its nutritious, high in vitamin D, protein and Omega 3. See didn’t I say pasta bake could be healthy?
Having had a good success with a smoked mackerel version previously, I decided to test the smoked Trout in a pasta bake form (I did make a few other things to but this was the best of them!). The fish has a good meaty-ish texture and light smoke flavour running through it. There were a few small bones but were quickly removed with tweezers. As its already cooked, its also so easy to use by simply shredding the fillet by hand and combining into the cooked macaroni.

Serves Two


100g macaroni
1 large egg
4 heaped tbsp 0% fat crème fraiche
15g extra mature cheddar, grated
4 large basil leaves, shredded
4 cherry tomatoes, halved
60g smoked trout fillet, flaked
1 tsp cornflour, mixed with 1 tbsp milk
Splash of white wine, dry

*You will need two individual pie/ baking dishes*
Beat the egg with the cheese, basil and 1 tbsp of the crème fraiche and season with salt and pepper
Meanwhile boil the macaroni as per packet instructions, when cooked drain well and reserve 125ml of the cooking liquor. Pre-heat your oven to about 190o (mine is completely on the blink and everythings at about 230o currently!)
Using the now empty saucepan, heat the reserved liquor, wine and 3 heaped tbsp of the crème fraiche, when its boiling whisk in the cornflour mixture, until thickened and season. Stir in the cooked macaroni and trout and fill two individual baking dishes.

Spoon over the cheese and egg mixture and dot the tomato halves and bake for 25-30 minutes or until slightly souffled on top and golden. Serve with green vegetables of your choice.


Many thanks to The British Trout association for my samples. 
Recipe and images remain the property of Anne’s Kitchen.

By andrei