Tuna and mushroom pasta bake

Tuna and mushroom pasta bake
This dish is much lower in kilojoules than traditional creamy pasta dishes yet just as tasty.  The secret is in the cheese sauce -  fat is reduced by thickening with cornflour (instead of butter and flour) and by using trim milk and Edam cheese rather than the higher fat versions.  Flavour is enhanced by adding mustard and stock powder.   I do this for all white and cheese sauces I make and you would not know the difference (except perhaps to the waistline!).
For a delicious variation, add chopped sun dried tomatoes instead of the corn.

Serves 8
Time to make 1 hour

Ingredients
500g pasta shapes e.g. spirals, penne or shells
2 x 185g cans tuna in spring water
1 tablespoon oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
300 – 400g button mushrooms, sliced (quantity not critical)
1 x 400g can whole kernel corn, drained (or use 1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes)
1 litre liquid (liquid from fish plus trim milk)
2 teaspoons hot English mustard
2 teaspoons chicken stock powder
6 tablespoons cornflour
2 cups grated Edam cheese
Chopped parsley
Toasted breadcrumbs plus extra grated cheese for topping (optional)

Steps
1. Preheat oven to 180oC.  Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet, drain and pour into a lightly oiled large baking dish.
2. Drain the fish, saving the liquid to mix with the milk for the sauce.   Break the fish up with a fork and mix with the cooked pasta.
3. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, cook onion and mushrooms until onion has softened.  Mix through pasta together with the drained corn.
4, Mix liquid, cornflour, mustard and stock powder together and heat on cook top or in microwave until thickened.  Add grated cheese and dill and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Stir into the pasta mix, top with breadcrumbs and extra grated cheese.  Cook for around 20 – 25 minutes or until mixture is bubbling and topping is crisp and golden.

Healthy Habits – apply to other recipes
- Choose fish canned in spring water, rather than brine (high in salt) or oil (high in fat)
- Make white sauce using trim milk.  Thicken with cornflour rather than by roux method (using butter and flour)
- Use Edam cheese instead of tasty cheese – less fat.
- Add vegetables to increase nutrient value

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