Product Type: Tesco Baking & Ingredients
Newest Review: ... have also substituted salmon and smoked salmon instead of tuna. My kids don't mind the tuna or fresh salmon, but are not keen on the smoke... more
A favourite storecupboard staple in our house
Tesco Tuna & Pasta Bake Recipe Mix
Member Name: cha97mw
Tesco Tuna & Pasta Bake Recipe Mix
Advantages: cheap, only need simple ingredients to go with it, easy to make up.
Disadvantages: does have a long ingredient list, and contains a fair amount of salt
I like to cook most of my meals from scratch without jars and packets, so you won't find too many packets in my home. However, sometimes I want a slightly easier night with less thought and effort from me, and a meal that is easy enough to throw together from stuff in the home is a tuna pasta bake.
I have bought this Tesco packet mix many times. At first it was a price thing, as it is currently 38p for the mix. However, it is a taste that we all enjoy, and easy to prepare, so I tend to keep at least one pack of this in the house.
To go with this pack all you need is 225g of pasta to serve 4 people, a tin of tuna, some sweetcorn - I tend to chuck in a cup of frozen sweetcorn, and 3/4 of a pint of semi skimmed milk to make up the sauce. You also need cheese to add to the top of the bake. I also tend to crumble some tortillas on the top before adding the cheese so that you get a lovely crisp tasty layer at the top of the bake and your pasta remains nice and soft.
I sometimes embelish upon this and add some sliced mushroom, or I have tried some onion sautéd, or some finely chopped broccoli. I have also substituted salmon and smoked salmon instead of tuna. My kids don't mind the tuna or fresh salmon, but are not keen on the smoked version.
Making this is simple. Just cook the pasta as normal. Towards the end of cooking time, start to prepare the sauce. You pour the packet mix into a second pan. Add a bit of milk and mix till fairly smooth, then add the rest of the milk and heat till its boiling. Lower the temperature a little. Add the tuna and sweetcorn, leaving it to simmer and thicken for about a minute.
Then add your cooked pasta and this sauce together in an ovenproof dish, topping with the cheese and tortillas.
I then leave this in the oven at gas mark 5 or 6 for about 20 minutes until the cheese has melted and gone brown. The pack gives a guideline of 80g of cheese, but I would say depending on the size of your dish, somewhere between 50-100g to give decent coverage to suit individual taste. We like a decent amount, so I don't skimp on it.
The resulting pasta bake holds together pretty well when you serve to the plate. I often put nearer 300g of pasta in and I never ever measure the sweetcorn or cheese. I am that sort of cook that just slaps what they think in the dish, and it works out ok for me. We never end up with leftovers with this dish, and everyone in the family will clear their plate. I sometimes serve with a garlic bread or with extra vegetables like broccoli to fill my boys up as they like large portions and this fills them nicely.
The packet mix has recently changed packaging slightly. The packaging is now quite green in colour and reminds me of the Heinz packaging. It has also got smaller - it has been reduced by 20% in size so there is less waste as it is a non-recyclable plastic waterproof material. The recipe has also been tweaked slightly so the powder mix has a stronger smell than it used to and reminds me a bit of what doritos smell like. However, the recipe tweak hasn't spoiled our enjoyment.
The ingredient list is mostly things that I recognise like herbs (parsley, oregano, paprika, curcumin, thyme, celeriac seeds) with some sugar, salt, tomato powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne and black pepper and milk. 1/4 of a sachet provides 38 calories only, so not too bad, but it does also provide 1g of salt so I wouldn't have served this to my children when they were very young as this is really too high. I'm happy our diet is healthy enough for the occasional once or twice per month we use it for this not to be a problem. Smaller kids will not be able to eat 1/4 of a portion of this bake when made up, so it is not a huge worry for me.
This would not be suitable for most allergy sufferers as it does contain milk, gluten, wheat, soya and celeriac. On the positive side though it is free of nuts and made in a nut free factory.
I find this nice as an occasional break from creating my own sauces. It produces a meal we all enjoy eating. However, the reason I don't buy that many packets is the affect it has on health because of the added sugar, salt, and other unnatural ingredients. This however is free from MSG, and artificial colours and preservatives, so I don't feel like I am harming my kids letting myself have a rest from full on cooking.
As packets go, it doesn't make the meal overly expensive so it is budget friendly, and the taste is very easy on the palate. Not too mild the adults find it dull, but not too overwhelming with spices for the kids.
I will continue to use this as a store cupboard item.
Summary: A tasty storecupboard staple to help me make a tasty meal with a bit less effort than normal.
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