Carina Truyts


Tuna tomato bake

I’m a tuna snob.

Ie. I don’t eat tuna unless it is fresh fresh fresh. Ideally just-caught, sashimi. Dipped in quality soy sauce. I won’t say no it if it’s been rolled into something ricey with spicy avocado.

Which is why it’s weird that the first recipe  (or book sneak peek) I’m putting on my site contains canned tuna. Something I rarely eat. Unless maybe if I’m on a hike and there is a view so beautiful that it distracts me from the tinny taste and bizarre texture of a fish that is unidentifiable from those silky, pink slabs of tuna I love so much.

I’m not selling this recipe very well am I?

Let me just say: I eat tuna if it’s made like this. Fresh tomato and herbs, some nutmeg paprika for flavour, and crunchy onion that’s just-just cooked. It’s so easy. (Any recipe that contains tuna and expects effort from you must be joking).

IMG_0527 reduced for online

Also, this was one of my favourite photo shoots with Chris de Beer.

Tuna Tomato Bake

Serves 4

You need just 2 big bowls to make this in the microwave, its easy, cheap and satisfying. You can also use this as a base and add other goodies. The onion is vital though- giving a bit of crunch.

2 tablespoons (30ml) flour

2 tablespoons (30ml) butter

1 ½ cups (375ml) milk

½ onion, finely chopped

1 sachet (3 tablespoons, 45ml) tomato paste

1 small (175g) tin tuna in water or brine, drained (add an extra one if you like a stronger tuna taste)

pinch of ground nutmeg (optional)

½ teaspoon (2.5ml) paprika

handful baby tomatoes, halved (optional)

a few stalks fresh thyme or other Italian herb (optional)

2 packets instant noodles

1 cup (250ml) grated cheese (cheddar, gouda, or something in that line)


Preheat the oven to 200°C and put the kettle on.

Place the butter in a big flat-bottomed glass bowl. Microwave on high heat until melted. Remove and add the flour, whisking well. Microwave for 1 minute, then whisk again. Remove and gradually add the milk, whisking as you go. Return to microwave for 30 seconds, then whisk again. Then microwave for 1- 2 minutes at a time, whisking in between, until thick. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. [>> this is the basic microwave white sauce method]

Remove from the microwave, add the chopped onions, and return for another minute to take the raw edge off the onions. Set aside.  Place the noodles in a big bowl, cover with boiling water, and microwave for 2- 3 minutes until cooked. Drain and add to the white sauce, along with the tuna, tomato paste, nutmeg, paprika, tomatoes, herbs, and plenty of salt and pepper.

Top with cheese and bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese melts and starts to go brown around the edges.

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