easy tuna pasta bake

I cannot live without my oven. Okay, so I am Chinese, and if you take away my wok, I will come after you with my spatula, but there are days when the LAM simply cannot face rice and when I have 15 minutes to whip up something tasty. This is the recipe that I turn to.

I hated canned tuna. I hated it with a passion. It is really weird because I love fish of all sorts but when it came to canned tuna, I simply could not stand it. Strangely enough though when I made this pasta dish for the first time, I had a taste, and I found that I actually liked the darn thing.

Go figure. 😀

When I claim that I can cook something in a short amount of time, in this case 15 minutes, I am referring to the amount of time it takes for me to prep and cook the dish – I discount the time that the dish has to be simmered, or baked because while it is doing that, I do not have to hang around to make sure that everything is okay. I mean, I do go back into the kitchen to give things a quick stir, or to check on how the cooking is progressing, but since that takes up such a negligible amount of time, it does not really count. 

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As with all baked pasta dishes I make, I always cook the pasta first because the rest of the cooking process takes about as long as it does for the pasta to cook. I used penne for this dish, but feel free to substitute with any other short pasta.

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Here are the step-by-step photos on how to cook this dish.

Start by cooking the pasta in a big pot of salted boiling water, taking 2 minutes off the cooking time.

Saute the onions in olive oil until they turn soft, about 2 minutes. 

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Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds.

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Add red pepper, stir to mix.

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Pour in the diced tomatoes and tomato puree.

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Add the dried oregano, basil, Italian herbs and garlic powder (or granules), as well as salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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Stir in the tuna and cook for another 3 minutes or so.

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Reserve a cup of pasta water (very important) before you drain the pasta. Mix the pasta with the rest of the ingredients. If you find that the pasta is too dry or thick, mix in a little of the reserved pasta water until you achieve the consistency that you like.

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Transfer the pasta into a baking tray and sprinkle Parmesan and Cheddar cheese on top. I usually freeze the cheese until I need them. Since I use the cheese mainly for baking, there is no need to thaw it beforehand. 

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Bake at 180°C for 20-30 minutes (depending on the size of your baking tray), or until the cheese turns golden and bubbly.

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I usually serve baked pasta with garlic bread, but it is purely optional.

Enjoy. 🙂

Easy Tuna Pasta Bake
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. some olive oil
  2. 2 cans tuna, drained (I prefer those that have been soaked in olive oil))
  3. 1 medium onion, diced
  4. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 medium red pepper, diced (optional)
  6. 2 cans chopped tomatoes, undrained
  7. 4 tablespoons (60ml) tomato paste
  8. 1 tablespoon Italian herbs
  9. 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  10. 2 tablespoons dried basil
  11. 1 packet penne
  12. 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar
  13. 1 cup grated mozzarella (I used Parmesan)
  14. Salt, to taste
  15. coarsely grounded black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Start by cooking the pasta in a big pot of salted boiling water, taking 2 minutes off the cooking time.
  2. Saute the onions in olive oil until they turn soft, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
  4. Add red pepper, stir to mix.
  5. Pour in the diced tomatoes and add the tomato puree.
  6. Add the dried oregano, basil, Italian herbs and garlic powder (or granules), as well as salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  7. Stir in the tuna and cook for another 3 minutes or so.
  8. Reserve a cup of pasta water (very important) before you drain the pasta. Mix the pasta with the rest of the ingredients. If you find that the pasta is too dry or thick, mix in a little of the reserved pasta water until you achieve the consistency that you like.
  9. Transfer the pasta into a baking tray and sprinkle Parmesan and Cheddar cheese on top.
  10. Bake at 180°C for 20-30 minutes (depending on the size of your baking tray), or until the cheese turns golden and bubbly.
  11. Serve immediately, with garlic bread if you like.
The Domestic Goddess Wannabe http://thedomesticgoddesswannabe.com/
 

 

 




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