I was tossing up today which recipe to share with you all, but since the weather has been so cold, wet and dreary in Sydney today, I thought I’d go with the “comfort food” option.
I made this tuna casserole last week and it went down a treat. I love an indulgent, creamy pasta bake every now and then and this one is a keeper, I think. I’ve shared a recipe previously for a three cheese tuna and veggie pasta bake, but this is a lot more simple to make as it doesn’t require you to make a sauce from flour, butter, milk and cheese.
Instead I use coconut milk and a little dairy cream, which are both already quite nice and thick without the need for a roux. I know coconut milk and tuna seems like a weird combination, but just trust me on this one! Once the cream, seasoning and cheese is added, you can’t even tell it was coconut milk. I love using coconut milk where I can because it’s loaded with good fats, so don’t be afraid of it! And make sure you use full cream, not any of that watered down light coconut milk!
For the pasta, I used the brown rice macaroni noodles I bought last week. And as usual, I also loaded the dish with plenty of veggies! I’ve been trying to use silverbeet in more recipes, because I’ll be honest with you, I hate it. There. I said it. I just think it has a weird taste (especially the stalk of it) and I usually can’t stand it. But I know it’s packed full of nutrients, so I’m giving it a chance in some different dishes. I ended up really liking it in this recipe. Maybe it’s because it was mixed in with cheese and pasta. That usually makes anything taste good, am I right?
All I had to do to make the sauce was sauté some garlic, sliced shallot and veggies, added the cooked pasta, tuna, coconut milk, cream, salt, pepper and stirred it altogether in a large pot.
Then I stirred through a cup of cheese, poured it all into a baking dish and topped it with a little more cheese.
The best thing about this dish is that it only took me about 30mins to make. The tip to getting it all done as quickly as possible, is pre-heating your oven as soon as you get in the kitchen, pre-boiling your pasta water in the kettle, and prepping your veggies and sauce while the pasta is cooking. If you do all that, you’ll be eating it by the half hour mark! Which is something I know we all look for after a busy/long day at uni or work.
I hope you enjoy the recipe! Make sure you make some tonight and get nice and cozy!
- 300g brown rice macaroni*
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, thiny sliced
- Half a bunch of silverbeet, stalks removed and thinly sliced
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 2 zucchinis, halved and sliced
- 2x 125g tins of tuna**
- 1 cup of cream
- 1x 400ml tin of coconut milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups of grated cheese
- Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees celsius.
- Cook the pasta as per packet directions. (Drain and set aside when done).
- While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in a pan.
- Saute the garlic and shallot for 1-2 minutes, until softened and fragrant.
- Add silverbeet, broccoli and zucchini to the pan and saute for 5 minutes, until silverbeet has wilted slightly and broccoli is beginning to soften.
- Turn off the heat.
- Add the cooked pasta, tuna, cream, coconut milk, salt, pepper and half the cheese into the pan and stir well.
- Pour mix into a large baking dish and top with remaining cheese.
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden on top.
- * Feel free to replace the pasta with pasta of choice if you cannot find brown rice macaroni.
- ** Make sure you choose a "pole and line caught" brand of tuna or one that has a sustainability certification on it.