Cheesy Pasta Bake

For me, this recipe screams comfort meal and is a perfect, easy dish to throw together at the end of a long week, and still includes some healthier fats than a traditional pasta bake. Simple dishes like this are so appealing to me to make, and a safe option if cooking for a number of people at a time. The tuna can be substituted for chicken, or left out altogether for a vegetarian twist. It takes just a few minutes to mix everything together and then it can be given a lovely finish by popping it into the oven to crisp up for a few minutes at the end.

Note, make this vegan by bulking up the mixture with extra veggies instead of the tuna and going for vegan cheese on top!

Ingredients:

⁃ Cashew nuts, 100 g, pre-soaked in water for at least one hour

⁃ Chopped tomatoes, 400 g

⁃ Conchiglie pasta, 200 g

⁃ Tinned tuna, 160 g tin, two

⁃ Paprika, sweet, 1 tbsp

⁃ Olive oil

⁃ Salt, tsp

⁃ Chopped baby plum tomatoes, handful

⁃ Onion, red, medium, one

⁃ Honey, tbsp, one

⁃ Grated cheddar and mozzarella cheese, 50 g

⁃ Parmesan cheese, 10 g

⁃ Fresh coriander, handful

Method:

1. Begin by adding the pasta to boiling water in a saucepan, leave over medium heat to cook for 15 mins or according to cooking instructions, stirring regularly.

2. Peel and chop the onion, as well as the tomatoes and sauté for 10 mins on a frying pan, oiled with olive oil, over medium heat, stirring regularly.

3. Make your sauce by adding the soaked cashews, chopped tomatoes, honey, paprika and a pinch of salt to a blender and blitz into a smooth sauce.

4. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

5. Add the tuna to the frying pan, followed by the sauce and mix well.

6. Drain the cooked pasta and add the contents of the frying pan into the saucepan.

7. Add the contents of the saucepan into a large baking dish, cover the pasta mixture with the cheese and coriander, and bake for 15 minutes.

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