Post image for Tuna, Tomato & Olive Pasta Bake

Pasta bakes are always a popular family dinner and usually of the creamy variety with lots of cheesy sauce. This Tuna, Tomato & Olive Pasta Bake is a nice change and while there is still plenty of cheese on top, it has a nice tomato sauce wrapped around the pasta.

The other great thing about this pasta bake is that it uses ingredients that are usually on hand, and if they aren’t, can be easily substituted with something else.

Use the tomato sauce as a base and then mix it up in the following ways:

  • Add any type of meat/fish – salmon, chicken, ham or salami would all work well.
  • Throw in some ‘pickled condiments’ – this recipe uses olives but you could easily add roasted capsicum, artichokes, sundried tomatoes and other types of olives.
  • Hide some vegetables – grate up some zucchini, carrot or other vegetables and stir through the tomato sauce.
  • Add some extra cheeses – sprinkle some feta cheese or ricotta cheese on top as a variation.

Tuna, Tomato & Olive Pasta Bake

Ingredients

375g pasta shapes – I used penne but any will do

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium brown onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped

440g can tuna, drained and flaked

1 cup grated mozarella cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Method

Preheat oven to 200C (390F).

Cook the pasta in boiling water and drain well.

While it is cooking, heat the oil in a large frying pan.  Add the onion and garlic.  Cook gently until the onion is soft.  Add tinned tomatoes and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes to thicken the sauce.

Add the drained pasta, olives and tuna to the tomato sauce and toss to combine well.   Spoon into a large baking dish.  Sprinkle cheeses evenly over the top.  Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is nicely melted and golden.

Serves 8

The Klutzy Cook Notes

  • If time permits, and you have plenty of tomatoes on hand, try making it with your own tomato sauce.  Here’s a roasted tomato sauce recipe to try.
  • This recipe makes a large quantity, but does freeze well.  So put some away for another night.
  • Vary up the ingredients as per the recommendations at the top and this dish can be made many different ways.  This helps to keep it interesting for the family too.

I’d love to hear any extra ingredient suggestions for this pasta bake.  Please share them below and don’t forget to share with your friends by clicking the buttons below.

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Post image for 16 (+2) Vegetables You Can Hide In Bolognaise Sauce

There is no doubt that bolognaise sauce always provides an opportunity to hide a few vegetables from the kids and I’m always interested in what others can ‘get away with’.

So, recently on my Facebook page, I asked what vegetables people hid in their pasta sauce.  There was a great response and I ended up with a list including vegetables I would never have considered.

I’ve compiled these so everyone can benefit.  There is bound to be some in here that you already use, but I guarantee there will be others you hadn’t thought of either.

16 (+2) ‘Hideable’ Vegetables

The most common…

  • Zucchini
  • Carrot
  • Capsicum
  • Onion
  • Mushroom
  • Tomato
  • Garlic

Other great ideas…

  • Celery
  • Pumpkin
  • Potato
  • Spinach
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Potato
  • Green Beans
  • Cabbage

Plus a couple of legumes (these are the +2)…

  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney Beans

The secret with all of this is to make the vegetables fairly undetectable.  So, in the case of vegetables like pumpkin and potato, the suggestion was to grate them.  Another contributor also suggested grating the stems of the broccoli – perfect!  For others, cutting them as finely as possible either by hand or using a food chopper is ideal.

In the case of the legumes, any could really be used.  Whenever I add them to a sauce, I find the trick is to mash them up and then blend through.  If the colour matches pretty well, like kidney beans with beef mince, they ‘hide’ really easily.  Others legumes that would work well here include lentils and borlotti beans.

The Klutzy Cook Notes

  • My favourite tool for chopping, particularly onions, is a Tupperware chopper I bought a few years ago.  It’s one that is hand operated and even though it gets used every day, it’s still going strong.  Plus, it’s easy to clean.  If you do a lot of cooking, a tool like this is worth investing in.
  • On the other hand, if I have lots of chopping to do, then I use my food processor.  My food processor is a heavy duty KitchenAid food processor in the gorgeous Empire Red colour.  Australian readers can check it out here, otherwise see it on Amazon here.
If you have any vegies to add to list, please write them below.  Also, don’t forget to share with your friends by clicking the buttons below.

 

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