Golden tubetti with cauliflower and tuna

Karen Martini's golden tubetti pasta bake with tuna.
Karen Martini's golden tubetti pasta bake with tuna. Photo: Marcel Aucar

The tuna bake was a staple of the family dining table of the '70s and is popular again now. This quick version makes for a great midweek dinner. Just add a simple bitter-leaf salad or some blanched greens.


500g tubetti or other short pasta

½ cauliflower, in 1cm slices

60g butter

5 cloves garlic, finely sliced

1 red onion, finely diced

salt flakes

freshly ground black pepper

1½ tbsp curry powder

60g plain flour

800ml milk, warmed

100ml cream

90g grana padano parmesan, finely grated

2 x 185g cans tuna in oil, drained

2 handfuls breadcrumbs


1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan-forced or 200C conventional.

2. Cook the pasta in plenty of salted, boiling water, tipping the cauliflower in for the last five minutes, then drain.

3. While the pasta cooks, add the butter to a medium saucepan and melt over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion, season and cook for four or five minutes, or until softened but not coloured.

4. Add the curry powder and fry quickly. Add the flour and stir through to cook out a little. Pour in the warm milk, whisking as you do. Cook for about two minutes while whisking until the sauce has thickened and is lump-free.

5. Add the cream and half the cheese, whisk until combined and season. Tip into a large bowl with the tuna and the pasta and cauliflower. Stir through, breaking up the larger pieces of cauliflower a little.

6. Tip the pasta mix into a ceramic baking dish, top with the rest of the cheese and the breadcrumbs and bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden.