If you are looking for a tasty, quick and easily prepared meal for post-ride refuelling, try this delicious pasta bake recipe, courtesy of Deborah Willcox.
Tortelloni tuna bake (Serves 3)
The ultimate in comfort food, this is a filling carbohydrate packed extravaganza which, served hot with baked beans is a perfect end to a day where you have found yourself cycling through the rain having dressed for sunshine.
400g or 1 packet of spinach & ricotta tortelloni
185g or 1 tin of tuna chunks in sunflower oil
25g or 1 packet of savoury white sauce mix OR DIY white sauce; 25g butter, 1 heaped tablespoon of cornflour, 0.5 – 1 litre of milk, salt and pepper to season
200g approximately of Mature cheddar cheese (if you like cheese, add more!)
1. Get an oven proof dish, and empty the packet of spinach and ricotta tortelloni into the dish.
2. Open the tin of tuna chunks and drain. Sprinkle the tuna over the tortelloni in the dish, mixing it all up so the tuna even covers the pasta.
3. Sprinkle some of your grated cheese over the tuna and pasta in the dish.
4. Make up the sauce mix, following the instructions on the packet OR prepare your DIY white sauce.
Melt the butter in a saucepan on a low heat (don’t let it burn, it tastes rank). In a separate container, mix some of the milk with your cornflour to make a smooth paste and then add 0.5 litres of milk to the paste. Add the milk and cornflour mixture to the butter in the pan and warm, stirring until the sauce thickens into a creamy mix.
If it’s too thick, add a bit more milk. If it’s too thin, mix a bit more cornflour with a bit more milk and add it gradually to your saucepan and keep stirring!
NOTE: It’ll go lumpy if you allow it to stand and cook, so stirring is essential.
5. Add your finished sauce to your dish, ensuring ALL the pasta is covered (the sauce will cook your pasta in the oven so there is no need to pre-cook).
6. Sprinkle over your remaining cheddar cheese.
7. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
8. Bake for 30 -40 minutes until the top is as crispy as you want it to be.
Hints and tips
Where to start? You can use tinned tuna in brine, but you might want to add more cheese if you do. Try different tortellonis, try different cheeses. I have been told this is less home baking and more home assembly but if you get really good at making the white sauce, you can be sitting down to eat a brilliantly filling home bake before the bike’s properly dry.
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