Crispy tuna and pasta bake

This recipe is another one of Mummy Swindian’s classics – it is a very homey, warming, delightfully crunchy dish. It was inspired by Betty Bossi (of the onion chopper), but we improved upon it years ago by adding cheese and adjusting the other ingredients slightly. The interesting thing in this bake is the topping of buttery breadcrumbs, as they turn all golden and crispy on top of the melted cheese and make for some very interesting textures. It also boasts a variety of flavours despite the seemingly short list of ingredients!
Serves 2-3 people
  • 300 g small pasta (ideally ‘Hörnli’, penne or fusilli)
  • 1 can tuna in salt water (200g)
  • At least 2 tsp of dried mixed herbs, more if you like
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 200 ml cream
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 15g butter (softened)
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Grated mozzarella
  • Salt, pepper and paprika to taste
Boil the pasta according to packet instructions, drain and set aside. Flake the tuna in a bowl while pasta is boiling to make sure there are no big chunky bits.
Heat some olive oil in a non stick big frying pan. When hot, put in chopped onion and cook till brown, then add the garlic and mixed herbs. Then add the tomato puree and mix well. Then add the cooked pasta, mix well, add tuna, mix well, add cream and, you guessed it, mix well. You can adjust the cream serving as wished, to make it as liquidy or dry as you enjoy. Finally, add salt, pepper and paprika to season and mix thoroughly.
In a small bowl, mix about equal measures of the softened butter with the breadcrumbs. Poke with a fork until you have very small clumps.
In a flat baking dish, put in the cooked pasta mix. Cover with grated mozzarella and then dot all over with the butter/breadcrumbs mixture. Cover with aluminium foil and cook for about 15 mins at 200 degrees Celsius. Then remove the foil, adjust the oven to grill mode and cook for a further 5-10 mins until the top layer is golden brown and crispy.
En Guete!