Confession time. I know it says somewhere on here that I make vegetarian meals. And I do, 99.9% of the time. But I’m actually a pescetarian.
I became a pescetarian when I was 9, I walked down into the kitchen, asked my mum if I could be one, and obviously thinking it was just a phase, she said yes.
When it carried on, she told me I had to keep on eating fish for protein (fair enough).
I find it easier to call myself a vegetarian, and for most of the time I am.
Apart from a few things as follows:
- Ready made sandwiches, whilst I generally find them inedible, if I have one from a supermarket or petrol station sometimes, it will be prawn mayo.
- Meals out. Oh my, vegetarian meals do no have to be boring, but some restaurants really don’t know that! NO MORE NUT ROAST.
- Sushi. I eat vegetarian sushi when I’m out, I love tamago! At home when I make it as a compromise to my meat loving boyfriend, I make smoked salmon sushi as well.
And last but not least, tuna pasta bake. A meal that I grew up with. A meal that I love. It might even be my favourite meal.
I use a jar of sauce that you pour over uncooked pasta, sweetcorn and tuna and then shove in the oven. Top with cheese towards the end, strong cheddar of course, and serve.
It was a staple in my childhood and uni years (although towards the end I was too skint to justify tuna, I’m glad that part of my life is over), and turns out it’s something I bonded over with my boyfriend.
For you see it was the first meal he cooked for me, I say cooked, I mean assembled. I’d cooked him sushi the week before (it took hours, I screamed and nearly cried, desperate to impress) and he returned the favour with tuna pasta bake. He didn’t even know it was my favourite meal. He’s just a lazy man.
I decided it was time to try and create my own. The jarred sauce is delicious, but I make the majority of my meals from scratch, so why can’t I make my favourite meal from scratch?
The main element I wanted to keep the same was putting uncooked pasta in. Less washing up, less time, more lazy. Perfect.
I found a recipe here adapted it to make it my own, and away I went.
I couldn’t have been more pleased with the result. Creamy, quick, delicious.
Jarred pasta sauce.
This isn’t the end of our relationship, I promise, but you do have competition. Seriously all I did was mix my pasta with tomatoes, tuna, sweetcorn and a few other bits for flavour, poured milk over (didn’t mix in), covered and put it in the oven!
I used semi skimmed milk, I would imagine whole and semi skimmed would be fine, but not skimmed.
Quick No Boil Tuna Pasta Bake Recipe Cost:
- Pasta: 30p
- Tuna: £2
- Sweetcorn: 30p
- Tomatoes: 60p
- Milk: 30p
- Garlic: 5p
- Mozzarella (I buy the value stuff in water, it’s great) 40p
- Total cost: £3.95 for Serves 4
- Cost per serving: 99p
Tuna Pasta Bake Recipe
- 250g pasta
- 2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato puree (tomato paste in the US, the thick concentrated one)
- 200g sweetcorn
- 2 x 185g cans tuna chunks (drained)
- 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
- 50g parmesan
- salt and pepper
- 400ml semi skimmed or whole milk
- 1 ball mozzarella
- Pre heat the oven to 190C.
- Grease a 9x9 casserole dish with a little olive oil (I use my favourite pyrex one)
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the pasta, tomatoes, tomato puree, sweetcorn, tuna, garlic, parmesan and salt and pepper.
- Once well mixed, pour into the dish and flatten down.
- Pour over the milk, but don't mix it in.
- Cover with foil and carefully place in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes.
- After 40 minutes the pasta should be nearly cooked.
- Tear up the mozzarella and top the pasta with it evenly, don't worry if there's a few gaps.
- Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes without the foil, until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to turn golden.
- It may come out the oven slightly liquidy, I leave mine for 5 to 10 minutes before serving (the cheese is usually like lava anyway!)