This glorious four portion dish is one of those crowd-pleasers that kids, fussy eaters and comfort-food lovers all unite on. This version takes this delicious classic and ramps it up nutritionally without even remotely skimping on taste. You can add additional veg if you like, such as a couple of extra handfuls of spinach, but don’t worry if not as it already has plenty.
If you want to see more recipes like this one, check out our chef and nutritionist Dale Pinnock’s new cookbook ‘Eat, Shop, Save: 8 Weeks to Better Health’, available from all reputable bookstores and online now. Want to grab yourself a copy? You can do so here.
- 300g wholewheat pasta
- 170g tinned tuna, drained
- 100g extra mature cheddar cheese, grated
- Salad, to serve
- For the hidden veg sauce:
- 1 large red onion,finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Olive oil
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
- 1 courgette, diced
- 500g tomato passata
- 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
- Salt, to taste
For the sauce... In a pan, sauté the onion and garlic in a little olive oil, along with a good pinch of salt, until the onion has softened.
Add the pepper and courgette and continue to cook until they begin to soften. Add the passata and simmer for 10–12 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft.
Add the spinach and turn off the heat. There will be enough heat in the sauce to wilt the spinach.
Transfer all of this to a blender and then whizz into a sauce that looks, smells and tastes just like a regular tomato sauce, yet has an abundance of nutrients packed in.
For the pasta bake... Preheat the oven to 180degreesC, 160degreesC Fan, Gas Mark 4.
Place the pasta in a saucepan and cover with boiling water. Cook until al dente or according to the packet instructions. Drain and set aside.
Place the tuna in a separate saucepan and add in the sauce./ Stir well, making sure the tuna is flaked and mixed throughout the sauce.
Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and mix well. Transfer to a baking dish and top with the cheese. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, long enough for the cheese to melt and the edges to crisp up a little.
Serve with a salad.
Eat, Shop, Save is on ITV and STV on Thursday at 8:30pm. Yesterday’s episode of Eat, Shop, Save is now available on the ITV hub.