Tuna pasta bake is one of those meals like spaghetti bolognese, where there are as many different recipes as there are recipe websites, cook books and food blogs. Before cooking the tuna pasta bake I looked online at several recipes. There are so many variations of combinations of ingredients that the list is almost endless. Apart from anything the number of entries made me realise just how popular a dish it is.
I think its for two reasons. Firstly because its a very satisfying bit of comfort food and Its also one of those meals which remind us of when we were children. The kind of meal that you can remember helping to make when you were little. And secondly it can be very simple and easy to make or you can take your time and make something quite fancy.
I plumped for somethhing in the middle. As it was a weeknight I didn’t want it to be overly complicated but it still needed to be a delicious bit of comfort food. Aside from the basics (tuna + pasta + cheese sauce) I added sweetcorn (a popular addition) and broccoli. I thought I’d make the sauce nicer by using a combination of Jarlsberg and Comte instead of chedder cheese. This along with the nutmeg gave it a nutty undertone which lifted the whole dish. I loved it, which was good as I made a riddiculously large amount of it!
I only took a few pictures this time as I was furiously cooking!
Ingredients for two (abnormally hungry people)
500g Pasta (rigatoni works well)
1 head of Broccoli
1 300g can of sweetcorn
a handful of Fresh Parsley
for the sauce
250g grated cheese. I used a 50/50 mix of Jarlsberg and Comte but you could use any combination you like.
Pop on a large pan of water to boil for the pasta. Turn the oven on 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Boil the pasta according to the instructions and drain. Do the same with the broccoli.
Whilst the pasta is boiling get on with the cheese sauce. Grate the cheese(s) and measure out the ingredients for the sauce. Start by making a simple Roux. Melt the butter over a medium heat in a pan. Gradually add the flour and stir in, it goes lumpy at this point but don’t worry. Slowly pour in the milk whisking continuously. It will take a couple of minutes to add all the milk and whisk to a smooth consistency. Now add the cheese (reserving a little for later) and stir it through till the cheese melts. Sprinkle the nutmeg, stir one last time and set aside.
Assembly time. I do this straight in the oven proof dish to save on washing up. Pour in the pasta, broccoli, can of sweetcorn and the drained can of tuna. Pour the sauce over the top and stir everything together. Stir through the Parsley and top with a little extra cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden and bubbling. You could serve with a nice green salad.
- Tuna cheese casserole (recipemenagerie.wordpress.com)
- Comfort Food: Tuna Noodle Casserole (meatballsandmilkshakes.com)
- Aubergine, Tomato & Feta Pasta Bake (russellskitchen.wordpress.com)