I keep an emergency supply of pasta bake in the cupboard for those crazy days that go to pot and suddenly it’s less than an hour until the kids’ bedtime and feeding them has totally slipped my mind (this is rare, if social services are reading).
It was one of those crazy days yesterdays and on whipping the quick n’ easy pasta bake jar out of the cupboard, Jimi said it would be good if I tried ‘jazzing it up a bit’ as it’s kinda bland and him and the boys are bored of it. I wasn’t in the mood for his nonsense but they were all ganging up on me, so I rifled through the cupboards and threw some of the stuff I had knocking about together. And being the culinary genius that I am, I ended up with something super tasty.
My homemade pasta bake is packed with flavour and so much fresher that the salty, fatty shop-bought jars. I don’t think we will ever go back! Plus it’s just as simple to make so is still ideal for the days when I want to be doing absolutely anything but standing in the kitchen making dinner!
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 x 400g (14oz) tins chopped tomatoes
- 300g (10½oz) passata
- large pinch dried oregano
- 400g (14oz) shell pasta
- 2 x 160g (5½oz) tins tuna, drained
- large handful pitted black olives, halved
- 125g (4oz) mozzarella ball, sliced
- small handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 200C/390F.
- Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the onions for 5 minutes to soften, add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the tins of tomatoes, passata and oregano, season to taste and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, until thickened.
- Meanwhile cook the pasta for 2-3 minutes less than the packet instructions, drain and set aside.
- Once the sauce has thickened, flake in the drained tuna and stir well.
- Pour the pasta into an ovenproof dish and cover with the sauce, add the olives and mix well to coat.
- Top with the sliced mozzarella and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling.
- Scatter with the fresh parsley and serve.