No Tuna Pasta Bake

Written by McDonald, T.  |  Date 17th of October 2022

I first learned about tuna pasta bake as a young support worker in supported living and quickly gained a liking for it.  However, since becoming a vegan, I have not found a recipe for it that takes my liking until now.  You may have had jackfruit burgers or curry as it is sometimes used as a pulled pork substitute.  Nonetheless, it works fine as a tuna substitute in this recipe.  

You can buy jackfruit in a can.  It comes in chunks that can easily be broken up, which give it the consistency of pulled pork or tuna.

Asda canned jackfruit
Jackfruit

Notes 

  • You will likely need something to sweeten up the tomato sauce; hence, the pineapple juice.  You can use sugar water if you have no pineapple juice. 

  • Don't be afraid to season the jackfruit. 

  • Dry pasta is vegan while fresh pasta is not. 

  • You will likely get a few dark or even black bits around the edge of the casserole dish, don't worry it will all add to the flavour. 


2 servings

Time - approx 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1/2 a can of jackfruit 
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup of sweetcorn
  • 1/2 cup of peas 
  • 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast with B12  (nooch)
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp salt plus extra for frying the jackfruit
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, plus extra for frying the jackfruit
  • 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 200g of spiral pasta
  • 150ml of vegetable stock
  • 100g of grated vegan cheese

For the tomato sauce

  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice or sugar water.
  • 1 of basil and of sage

Method 

  1. Soak the dry pasta until completely soft.

Step 1 - make the tomato sauce 

  1. Dice the tomatoes and add them to the blender with the garlic and herbs.  Blend to a paste, then add to a container or jug.

  2. Add the pineapple juice and tomato paste to the tomatoes.  Give a good stir.

Step 2 - make vegan tuna

  1. Drain the jackfruit and add it to a frying pan.  You will have to break the jackfruit up with your hands.

  2. Fry with the onions, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and paprika until it starts to dry out.  This can take a while, so I sometimes put the onion in last and after it has been frying for a minute or two.  The idea is to dry the jackfruit out, but not to burn it, so keep stirring. 

Jackfruit frying in a pan
Fry the jackfruit to dry it out

Step 3 - make the bake

  1. Drain the pasta and add it to the casserole dish. 

  2. Add the nooch, peas and sweetcorn to the casserole dish and mix. 

  3. Add the salt and pepper, then give a good stir.

  4. Add the vegetable stock. 

  5. Cover the top in the grated vegan cheese and decorate with a few slices of tomato.

  6. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Then remove the lid and bake for another 5 - 10 minutes to crisp up the top.  You need to keep an eye on it at this stage since you wouldn't want to burn it.  

NoTuna pasta bake before going in the oven
Grate some vegan cheese on the top.

Results 

This turned out really well.  I was not sure if the jackfruit would work, but it did. 

NoTuna pasta bake on a white plate

NoTuna pasta bake on a white plate

 

I hope that you liked this blog and if you do try this recipe, please let me know how you got on and what it turned out like. You can leave a comment in the comments below.

 

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