The Solomon Islands is famous for welcome warm winter days, bright blue beach water over coral and Chilli Taiyo.
The first commercial tuna fishing kicked off in the Solomons in the early 1970’s. The company was from Japan, and the first fleet was based out of Tulagi, the old capital just 14 miles north of Honiara. There could hardly be a more appropriate protein source to use in a family meal than the humble tuna. Lots of history, lots of protein and low food miles.
The current factory is based in Western Province, and the Chilli Taiyo is top quality yellow fin tuna, with a fresh and spicy chilli tang. You could eat canned tuna the world over, and yes the world does eat it, and you wouldn’t find better than the Solomon’s own Chilli Taiyo.
Chilli Tuna Casserole (or Bake) is a great family meal to serve when there isn’t much in the cupboard but cans of Chilli Taiyo and half used packs of pasta. This is a protein/carb meal, so get your fibre at lunch with a salad or hide a bit inside as described below.
Ingredients (serves 6):
- 3 x 180 g cans of Chilli Taiyo
- 3 x cups of random pasta
- 1 x 420 g can of baked beans (Chilli Beans is better but can be harder to find)
- 2 onions (1 is okay if they are in short supply, it doesn’t matter that much)
- 2 x cups of veggies, these can be frozen or chopped. Local capsicum is best.
- Pepper to taste
- Chilli Sauce or chopped chilli to taste
- Cheese to top with in the oven
1. Par boil the pasta, stopping well short of al dente. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees.
2. Mix pasta and all ingredients (apart from cheese) in an oven proof casserole dish. Remember, don’t drain too much oil out of the cans, this is where the real flavor is. If you haven’t boiled the pasta too far then it will soak it up leaving you with a delicious and smooth textured casserole.
3. Top with cheese. I just like to put square cheese on top because it is easy, but grated will taste better and give better texture.
4. Bake at 180 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
5. Serve with a salad, this stuff goes just great served up inside lettuce leaves like a Mexican Chilli.