Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Healthy tuna and spinach bake with spelt rigatoni and sourdough breadcrumbs

Returning home from a short easter break and missing cooking in my little kitchen I dug around my fridge and cupboard to find not much really! Hungry and craving some pasta I headed to the store and bought just a few ingredients to make a yummy nurturing pasta bake that I know all the kids will like and adults too.

When I have time on the weekends I often batch cook a red and green sauce and then pop into the freezer so I have on hand when I'm in need of a quick nutritious meal on the go. In this case I had a beautiful tomato, basil and chilli red sauce which I used for this dish. If you are time poor buy a good quality organic pasta sauce (without sugar) and add fresh herbs, garlic and chilli to spice it up.

In this recipe I also used a sustainable tuna from my organic shop, I used to use sirena italian tuna but did some research and realised the italian tunas are the most unsustainable on the market here s the below list from Green Peace rating tuna brands and sustainability

1. Greenseas
2. Coles
3. Aldi
4. Woolworths
5. Safcol
6. Paramount
7. John West
8. Sole Mare
9. IGA, Franklins and SPAR
10. Sirena

This recipe is rich in omega 3, complex carbohydrates, iron, vitamin c and also lots of fibre and calcium if your gluten free just swap the pasta for a gluten free brand

1 packet organic spelt or wholemeal rigatoni
3 cups home made tomato sauce (or store bought organic pasta sauce)
1 can sustainable tuna
1/2 bunch english spinach, blanched lightly then put through the food processor to chop finely
3 tablespoons organic sourdough breadcrumbs avail at Always Organics
1 cup grated organic cheddar or I often use Nimbin cheese (more economical)
Fresh pepper and sea salt to season

In a large pot bring water to the boil and add the spinach, blanch for 2 minutes ( to keep the nutrients) then drain and whiz through the food processor, in the same pot (let's save washing up!) boil more water and put in the pasta cooking to the instructions on pack, in a small saucepan heat the pasta sauce and add the tuna and spinach, also add fresh herbs and season with celtic sea salt and pepper.

When the pasta is cooked drain in a strainer and pour into a pyrex glass container large enough to hold the pasta, mix through the tomato sauce and tuna an then lastly top with cheddar and sour dough breadcrumbs, again season with fresh pepper an sea salt.

Bake in the oven on 170 degrees for 15 minutes uncovered and serve immediately

Apologies for the average photo I was shooting in the late afternoon on my iphone (not ideal!)

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