I don’t often use tinned food but in this recipe it makes perfect sense to use tinned tuna rather than fresh. This is a quick and easy mid week dinner recipe so convenience is key. Besides mixing fresh tuna with other ingredients simply wouldn’t do it justice. This recipe uses both the fish and the brine (spring water) so nothing is wasted.
My original intention was to create an easy and healthy tuna and pasta bake recipe but I didn’t have a big enough dish that would fit all the ingredients including the pasta. As it turns out this dish can be enjoyed on its own (I had a generous helping right after the photographs had been taken:0). The chunks of squash and tuna coated in rich (but not heavy!) sauce make a fairly satisfying meal. If you want a more substantial meal though you could serve it with pasta, quinoa or couscous.
This easy tuna bake is big enough to feed a family of 4 twice (especially if you have it with pasta) and it tastes just as delicious the next day. This is convenience at its best:)
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, cubed
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
2 x 160 g tinned tuna (save the water)
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 handfuls fresh spinach, chopped (100 g)
120 g feta
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fine sea salt, plenty of pepper
Fresh parsley for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375 F/ 190 C/ gas mark 5.
In a medium saucepan heat up 2 tablespoons of oil, add the bay leaf, garlic and onion and saute on a low heat for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, season, cover and simmer for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and puree the sauce (don’t forget to take the bay leaf out first). Stir in the spinach and water from the tuna.
In a large pan heat up 1 tablespoon of oil and fry the squash cubes on a high heat for about 6-7 minutes stirring often until they are lightly browned. Remove from the heat and place in a medium/large baking dish (at least 6 cm deep). Spread the tuna over the squash, pour the sauce over the whole thing, top with crumbled up feta and bake for 50 minutes.
To serve garnish with parsley and enjoy with pasta, quinoa, couscous or simply on its own.