Monday, June 28, 2010

Tuna pasta bake

Ok, so a bit of pasta overload here, but it's easy to eat one handed, which is a requirement in our house at the moment - FH Alphie has a busted wing.
This is something I have never cooked before, as it brings back bad memories from my childhood, as
Tuna Mornay, as it was called in our house, had a long stint as my sisters FAVOURITE MEAL EVER, and we ate it at least once a week. It took me a long time to recover from that period in my life, however I think I am now over it. I saw a recipe for Creamy tuna and pea pasta bake in Super Food Ideas (SFI) magazine recently and it caught my interest (the fact that I even noticed suggests that I have recovered from the tuna mornay overload) and mentally filed it away for a future time.

This is a bit of a bastardised version of that recipe. The recipe in SFI used peas, and since FH Alfie has a thing against peas, and I made him eat them yesterday, I substituted that for baby spinach, the recipe also used evaporated milk, which I didn't have, and don't usually buy, so I made up a basic bechamel/white sauce instead.

FH Alphie rated it 7/10

Tuna pasta bake
(adapted from SFI, June 2010)
serves 6 hungry people

  • 3 cups short pasta
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 90g butter
  • 1 or 2 onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 90g plain flour
  • 2 heaped tsp mustard (seeded or smooth)
  • 750ml milk
  • 425g can tuna in springwater, drained and flaked
  • 100g (approx) baby spinach
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (or 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs)
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups grated cheese (I used Colby)
  • salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 170 degrees.

Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender. Add broccoli for the last 1-2 minutes of cooking. Drain, and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan, add onion and cook over medium heat until just soft, then add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in flour, and keep stirring until flour has 'cooked off' a bit, then stir through mustard. Add the milk slowly, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Bring to the boil, stirring, then stand aside.

Combine pasta and broccoli, white sauce, tuna and spinach. Season and pour into a 3L ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with combined cheese and breadcrumbs.

Bake for 30 minutes until heated through and the top is golden.

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