This is my take on a tuna bake. I try to make it a bit interesting! This version takes advantage of the fresh spinach, garlic, artichokes and herbs from my vegetable patch. Tuna bake is a great family meal as it is super quick to throw together on a week night and it can usually be made from what you have in your pantry.
I could be called a little bit on the obsessive side when it comes to canned goods. I have inspected the product labels of the tinned goods I use regularly. There are a small number of brands I use that do not contain any additives. If they are not available at the supermarket, my cupboard stays empty (I did say I was a little obsessive..)
Serves: 2 adults, 1 child and a large size Mr X’s Lunch
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
4 fresh garlic cloves finely chopped
2 cans of tinned diced tomatoes
1 large tin of tuna in springwater
2-5 small artichoke heads (what ever you have available)
1 cup of shredded spinach leaves, washed and spine removed
2 sprig of lemon thyme
3 sprigs of parsley
large handful of basil leaves to your taste ( I use heaps!)
salt and pepper to season
Pasta of your choice – I have no idea how much I just pour it in the pot – you know how much to use for your family I am sure…
1 lemon juiced (for the artichoke once it is cut)
Shaved Parmesan cheese
- Put a pot of water on to boil – large enough to fit the artichokes
- Prepare the artichokes by pulling outer leaves off until all of the dark ones have been removed. Cut in half and remove any prickly pink tinged leaves. I used baby flowers so there were none to remove. Remove the stem and trim the bottom of the choke with a knife until it is pale in color. Immerse in a bowl of water with the juice of one lemon until all are prepared.
- Once all artichokes are prepared put them into the boiling water to cook for 10 minutes. Remove, cool and slice
- In another pan put the garlic and a small amount of oil and cook until fragrant.
- Put on another saucepan to boil for the pasta.
- Add the tinned tomatoes to the pan with the garlic and then the herbs, season with salt and pepper
- Simmer the tomato mix for 5 minutes and then set aside
- Turn on oven to 180 degrees
- Add dry pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook according to packet instructions
- Drain the tin of tuna and put it into a casserole bowl, add the spinach and the artichoke
- Add the tomato sauce mix and the cooked pasta and stir to combine
- Top with shaved Parmesan cheese, or plain tasty cheese, cover and cook for 20 minutes
Serve with a salad, or if you are having a lazy day like I was yesterday, some grilled sour dough bread on the side.
Hints & Tips
- This recipe takes a little bit more time than a standard pasta bake where you just put everything into the casserole pot and cook it in the oven.You can make this recipe that way also, although the artichokes still need to be pre-cooked. This version is definitely worth the extra 15 minutes it takes to prepare.
- Pre-cooking the tomato sauce gives it, and the dish, a rich flavor
- Brush the bread with oil. I use the oil from my semi dried tomatoes. When this season’s tomatoes are ready I will post a recipe for those. You can use the oil from the semi dried tomatoes you can purchase in the supermarket also.
- If the children are not eating this meal, or they do not mind the taste, add one red chilli finely chopped into the tomato sauce base. I add chilli to almost everything if the kids are not going to be eating it. I don’t set out to cook separate meals for my nearly 4 year old, but he eats earlier than Mr X and I so he often gets a pre-chilli version. I add the chilli for our serving.
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