Tuna Pasta Bake Recipe
This is an affordable but tasty family meal which is easy to make and can be easily tailored to what you have in your store cupboard. Perhaps omit the olives and keep the salt level low for young children and babies (over one year). It can also be prepared ahead and popped in the oven later. As usual with my recipes there is no massive cleaning up job nor does it call for obscure equipment.
220g pasta shapes
200g broccoli, cut into small florets
150g frozen sweetcorn defrosted
1 clove garlic
40g plain flour
100g mature Cheddar, grated
2 x 160g tins tuna chunks in spring water, drained
100g pitted and halved olives
120g cherry tomatoes, halved
20g Parmesan, finely grated
1/2 vegetable or fish stock cube
A few herbs – basil or lemon thyme, parsley etc. Pepper and salt
Cook the pasta following pack instructions, adding the broccoli and sweetcorn to the pan for the last 5 mins of cooking. Drain well, reserving 100ml of the cooking water, set aside in colander. Rinse pan.
Using the pasta pan. Cook the onion in the butter until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the flour and cook a little. Keep stirring gradually adding in the milk. Crumble in stock cube if using, add herbs and seasoning.
Bubble over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened. Stir in half the Cheddar.
Add the cooked pasta, broccoli and sweetcorn to the sauce and stir well. Add a little of the reserved cooking water if the sauce seems too thick. Stir through the olives and half the cherry tomatoes then add in the tuna. Cook through for a few minutes to combine the ingredients and flavour.
Spoon into a large baking dish and scatter with the remaining grated Cheddar and the Parmesan and cherry tomatoes and *cook under a preheated grill for 5-6 mins.
*If serving later cover in film and chill. Bake in the oven rather than grill. Oven 180ºC or 170ºC Fan for around thirty minutes.
Tip: Courgette, peppers and peas also work well.
To decrease calorie content make with a tinned tomato base instead of béchamel, omit the cherry tomatoes and cheese within the mix and substitute half the pasta for more vegetables and just sprinkle parmesan on top.