When it comes to comfort food it’s hard to beat a golden, bubbling Fish Pie. Unless, of course, you have a piping hot Tuna Pasta Bake. I have to admit that if I was asked to choose between them I’d really struggle to pick one over the other. Both of them are the perfect antidote to a crummy day. Especially a wet and windy winter’s day, where it gets disappointingly dark in the middle of the afternoon. So, why not avoid having to decide between them by combining them into one big bowl of happiness?
That’s right, you didn’t misread the name of this recipe. It’s time to bring the Fish Pie Pasta Bake into your life!
I accept that in a lot of cases bringing together two individually amazing things can lead to disaster. Indeed, I’ve been culpable of making that same mistake myself on many an occasion. However, trust me when I say that this really works. Not that there was any realistic chance that it wouldn’t, let’s face it? All of the key components are part of a mix and match ingredient list that just go together.
The white sauce is made with the same milk that’s used to poach the fish. This ensures that there’s a delicate seafood flavour throughout the pasta bake. The mixture of white fish, salmon and smoked fish brings a range of textures and flavours to every spoonful. A few verdant florets of broccoli add freshness and extra crunch – a little bit of relief from the richness that could otherwise become overwhelming. Oh and it’s all topped off with a blanket of golden melted cheese. Nobody is going to complain about that!
As well as being delicious this is also an easy meal to make, with a short ingredient list and no complex steps. The hardest part is probably making the roux for the cheese sauce. Even that isn’t difficult – no matter how many horror stories of lumpy sauces you may have read elsewhere. You just need a little bit of patience and to not worry if you get a few lumps. Comfort food shouldn’t be stressful after all…
Fish Pie Pasta Bake
- 250 g Fusilli Pasta
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Onion peeled and chopped
- 150 g Broccoli broken into small florets
- 500 g Fish Pie Mix see note
- 600 ml Semi-Skimmed Milk
- 75 g Butter
- 75 g Plain Flour
- 75 g Strong Cheddar Cheese grated
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
- Cook the pasta for a couple of minutes less than stated on the pack. You want it to be al dente, but not too soft. When cooked, drain well and put to one side.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5-10 minutes, until starting to soften. Add in the broccoli and stir fry with the onion for a further 5 minutes, until warmed through and no longer raw. Remove from the pan and put to one side.
- Add the milk to the same pan and bring to a simmer. Add the fish and poach for a few minutes until just cooked – this should take no more than 5 minutes. Carefully remove the fish from the pan, leaving the milk behind. Turn off the heat as you don’t want the milk to burn.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, then add the flour and stir into the butter. Cook for a couple of minutes until the roux is smooth and has slightly darkened in colour.
- Add the warm milk used for the poaching the fish to the roux one ladle at a time, whisking continuously, until you have a smooth white sauce. Bring to a simmer and allow the sauce to thicken – though if you feel it’s too thick you can add a little more warm milk as needed. Remove from the heat, then stir in half of the cheese.
- Carefully add the cooked fish, pasta and vegetables to the cheese sauce and stir gently until just mixed. Transfer to an oven-proof dish and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over the top of the pasta bake, then return to the oven for a further 15-20 minutes until bubbling and golden brown.
- When cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
|Estimated Values per Serving|
|of which Saturates||16||g|
|of which Sugars||10||g|
|Note: Nutritional information shown is per serving of the above recipe. Any side dishes or garnishes shown in photos are not included in these values, unless they are specifically listed as part of the recipe.|