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Friday, 3 June 2011

Tuna Pasta Bake

This is one of those recipes that is a great standby for those nights when your short of inspiration, time and money.  Give it a whirl, you can substitute the tuna for some chopped ham if you don't like fish.

A couple of large handfuls of macaroni pasta

1 tablespoon butter

1 onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons plain flour

2 cups semi skimmed milk

1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard

1/2 cup grated tasty cheese

185g can tuna in spring water, drained

2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

1/2 cup breadcrumbs
 
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 6-cup capacity ovenproof dish.  Cook the pasta according to the packet directions or until al dente.  Once it's cooked to your liking drain it well.

Whilst the pasta is cooking you can make the sauce.  Start by melting the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes until it softens.  Then sprinkle in the flour. Cook again stirring for about a minute.  Remove the pan from heat and gradually add the milk, stirring or whisking the sauce until it's nice and smooth.  Return to the pan to the heat  and cook whilst stirring for 5 minutes or until mixture comes to the boil.

Once the sauce has come to the boil, take it off the heat and stir in the mustard, cheese, tuna (or ham), parsley and pasta.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  You can serve it at this point if you wish.

If you have a little more time, spoon the mixture into the greased ovenproof dish. Sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is golden.  Serve with steamed vegetables or a salad.

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