Before I start extolling the virtues of tuna bake, may I just say I am loving this ugly food project? The very best recipes are timeless. Long ago, in the time before food blogs (gasp!), these kinds of recipes were hand written on recipe cards and either shared or fiercely guarded. Things aren’t too different these days I guess, I’m still not sharing my prize-winning pickle recipes.
Tuna Bake has been around for eons and for good reason: it’s easy, it’s tasty and it’s budget friendly. The ingredients are things we routinely have in the pantry/fridge and it’s another fabulous late-home-from-footy freezer meal.
- 425g tin tuna
- 200g penne (or another tubular pasta), uncooked
- 1 medium brown onion
- 2 sticks celery
- 1 carrot
- 60g butter
- 3 tbs plain flour
- 400ml milk
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1 cup grated cheese (plus more to top the bake)
- salt and pepper
Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente.
Finely dice the onion, carrot and celery and sauté with the butter in a large saucepan until the onion is translucent. Add the flour and stir to coat the vegetables, cook over a low heat for several minutes. This is important, if you don’t cook it long enough, your tuna bake will taste of raw flour.
Add the milk, 100mls at a time, stirring and allowing the mixture to thicken between additions. Add the cheese and mustard powder, stir until combined. Add the tuna, I think it’s best to break up the big bits but leave reasonable chunks – so you can recognise what you’re eating. Stir in the cooked pasta.
are there any secret recipes in your family?1