Tuna pasta bake is a great dish at it uses ingredients that you’ll most likely already have in your cupboard, and it requires little energy to put together. However I think it’s got a bit of a bad rep for being rather uninspiring (and who doesn’t want to be inspired at dinner-time?!) so I thought I’d spruce it up a little whilst still keeping it budget-friendly.
Ingredients to serve four:
- penne pasta (£0.59, Tesco)
- garlic (£0.30, Tesco)
- one onion (£0.15, Tesco)
- tin of tuna chunks in spring water (£0.75, Tesco)
- tin of sweetcorn (£0.50, Tesco)
- salad tomatoes (£0.69, Tesco)
- broccoli (£0.49, Tesco)
- rocket leaves (£1, Tesco)
- mature cheddar (£1.40, Tesco)
- milk (£0.75, Tesco)
- butter (£0.85, Tesco)
- plain flour (£0.40, Tesco)
- dried parsley (£0.70, Tesco)
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 8 and finely slice 3 tomatoes. When the oven is up to temperature put the tomatoes on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes, turning them carefully halfway through.
- Weigh out 350g of pasta and cook for 12 minutes (or whatever it says on the packet!).
- Chop up half of the broccoli into small florets and lightly fry for 4-5 minutes. Then add a chopped onion and one finely chopped clove of garlic and fry for another 3 minutes.
- Whilst that is cooking you can make the sauce: a simple béchamel. In a saucepan mix 35g butter with 35g flour. When they are melted slowly add 400ml milk, whisking it all together. Keep gently whisking until the sauce has thickened, then remove from the heat and stir in roughly 50g of grated mature cheddar.
- Finally, mix everything together: the strained pasta, the cheese sauce, the broccoli and onion mix, the tin of sweetcorn, the tin of tuna and two tablespoons of dried parsley. Spoon it into a large heat-proof dish, cover the top with more grated cheese and disperse the roasted tomatoes. Then pop under the grill until the cheese is golden, and finally serve with rocket.
Total cooking and preparation time: roughly 25 minutes
Price per portion: at roughly £1.25 per portion this is a pretty cheap meal!
You might think ‘snazzy’ is a bit of an overstatement but I think adding some roasted tomatoes, broccoli and a garnish of rocket transform it from a boring everyday dinner to something a bit more special!