Friday, 13 July 2007

And the Rain Came Tumbling Down...

Yes, it's STILL raining. All the time. I've basically given up on the whole idea of summer now, so today the boys and I had a picnic lunch on the sitting room floor. It was entirely Christopher's idea; from the moment he got up this morning, he was nagging me for a teddy bears' picnic. He originally wanted to wear his teddy suit but by the time we got home (soaking) from the shops, we were too tired and hungry to bother with it.

I really don't feel like we should be having baked pasta for supper at this time of year. I want to be making all those light, refreshing and full-flavoured summer dishes that hot, sultry evenings demand but, with the weather the way it is, we're all craving something more substantial. This tuna pasta bake is a popular meal that I haven't cooked for a while, so it was something new for James tonight. He ate loads, which is great, because he's really trying hard to crawl at the moment and using an awful lot of energy getting frustrated by it all. You can use whatever pasta shapes you have. I'm basically in thrall to Christopher's whims in this respect, we use whatever he likes the look of when we go shopping. I prefer conchiglie or penne if I have the choice; tonight I used cavatapi.

Tuna Pasta Bake

200g dried pasta shapes
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée
bouquet garni
400g tin tuna in spring water, drained
340g tin sweetcorn, drained
150g cheddar cheese

Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat some olive oil and fry the onion and garlic together until softened. Tip in the chopped tomatoes, then blend the tomato purée with 100ml water and stir that in too. Add the bouquet garni, cover the pan and let it bubble for 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Fish out the bouquet garni, then add the flaked tuna and the sweetcorn to the sauce. Mix the drained pasta and the sauce together, then turn it all into a large ovenproof dish. Scatter over the grated cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes at 200°c.

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