There's something about a pasta bake that just seems to make everyone so happy. Possibly the implied promise of a luxuriously filling meal, topped with cheese and oozing with some kind of sauce.
Let's take a closer look at a couple of scenarios:
'What're we having for dinner mummy?'
'Baked cod' / 'ceasar salad' / 'parmesan & asparagus risotto'
'Blurgh! do we get pudding if we eat it?'
'What're we having for dinner mummy?'
'Creamy Tuna pasta bake' / 'Chicken pasta bake' / 'Tomato and bacon pasta bake'
'Yesssss!' (with added fist pump)
No requests for pudding as a reward for eating it. Dinner is a reward in itself. They'll even eat the salad that goes with it - no cajoling necessary.
This creamy tuna pasta bake is a store cupboard saviour. Pasta, sweetcorn, tuna fish - all make up the bulk of the meal. Frozen peas are a great addition too - but you can use canned or fresh if you like.
Apart from that, we're really just talking milk, cheese and a bit of butter from the fridge.
I serve it with a big plate of salad leaves (usually romaine and pea shoots or spinach) to add some fresh crunchiness.
If you can get hold of albacore tuna, it's definitely worth paying a bit more for it. We don't see it very much in the UK (in fact I'd never had it until we went to the US a couple of years ago and I had the best tuna-cheese toasty I've ever experienced!). If you're in the UK, they sell it in tins in Sainsburys.
Don't worry if you can't get hold of it though, any regular good-quality tinned tuna will do. If Creamy Tuna Pasta Bake is not your thing and you are after some other one pot or pasta bakes why not try my Big Batch Beef Ragu with pasta or Spaghetti Bolognese.
The Creamy Tuna Pasta Bake Recipe:
Creamy Tuna Pasta Bake
- 14 oz (400g) rigatoni pasta
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 onion - peeled and chopped finely
- 1/3 cup (40g) plain/all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups (600ml) milk
- 2 1/2 packed cups (250g) strong cheddar, grated
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 11 oz (320g) canned tuna (albacore tuna if possible) - drained and flaked
- 11 1/2 oz (330g) canned sweetcorn drained
- 1 cup (150g) frozen petit pois
- large handful chopped parsley
- Heat oven to 180C/350f.
- Boil a large pan of water, add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes.
- Whilst the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a saucepan, add in the onion and cook on low for 6-8 minutes until the onions are very soft.
- Turn up the heat to medium and stir in the flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, using a whisk to stir (just stir, don’t whisk) it in. Once all the milk is incorporated, continue to heat whilst stirring until the sauce thickens. Then stir in 2/3 of the cheese until melted. Season with the salt and pepper.
- Drain the pasta and pour into a 20x30cm baking dish. Pour over the white sauce, then add the tuna, sweetcorn, petit pois and all but 1 tbsp of parsley. Mix together, then sprinkle on the remaining cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 15-20 mins until the cheese is golden brown. Top with the reserved parsley before serving.
In order to make this Creamy Tuna Pasta Bake you will need:
- A good Kitchen knife. I have recently bought this Dalstrong one and love it.
- Chopping Board
- Rectangular Pyrex Dish
- A Silicone Whisk
- Measuring Jug
- Large Pan
- Cheese Grater
- A frying pan/skillet
- Wooden or Silicon Coated Spoons. We have just bought these and love them.
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