6 March 2022

Spicy Jackfruit 'Tuna' Pasta Bake

A vegan take on a classic pasta bake which uses pulled jackfruit as a tuna alternative, marinated first in a blend of nori, lemon and capers for an authentic 'taste-of-the-sea' flavour and baked with penne pasta in a spicy, tomato-based sauce then finished with a melted cheese, black olive and parsley topping...


SERVES:    4 PEOPLE        |        PREP TIME:    10 MINUTES        |        BAKES IN:    20 MINUTES


1 can jackfruit 

1/2 sheet of nori, finely chopped 

1/4 cup fresh dill, minced

1 tbsp capers, minced 

1 tbsp caper brine

2 tsp soy sauce 

Zest & juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 tsp black pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

1 white onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 red chillis, finely minced

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano 

1 tsp paprika 

2 tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 

2 tins chopped tomatoes

1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped 

250g penne

1/4 cup black olives, sliced

1/2 cup vegan cheese

Small handful parsley, to garnish 


1. Drain the water from the can of jackfruit and empty the jackfruit out into a bowl. Using two forks, pull the jackfruit apart until it resembles a tuna-like texture.

2. Add in the chopped nori sheet, dill, capers and brine, lemon zest and juice, soy sauce and pepper to the jackfruit and toss to combine, making sure the jackfruit is well coated in the marinade. Set aside in the fridge to marinate.

3. Warm the olive oil in a pan on a medium heat, then add in the onion and fry it off until soft. Next, add in the garlic and red chillis and continue to fry everything off for a further couple of minutes.

4. Add in the dried herbs and paprika, turn those through, then add in the tomato puree and fry that off. Next, add in the balsamic vinegar, tinned tomatoes, 1/2 tin water and the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Give everything a good stir through, then leave it on a low heat to simmer. 

5. Bring a separate, large pan of salted water to a boil then add in the penne pasta, stir once and then allow to cook until al dente. Reserve one cup of the pasta water and stir it into the tomato sauce, then drain off the pasta.

6. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Add the tomato sauce into the drained, cooked pasta and stir it through well to coat. Next, remove the jackfruit 'tuna' from the fridge and lift it out using two forks, leaving any excess marinade in the bottom of the bowl, and add it into the pasta. Toss lightly to mix the jackfruit 'tuna' through the pasta and sauce.

7. Place the jackfruit 'tuna' pasta into a baking dish, then scatter the olives over the top. Sprinkle with vegan cheese and place it in the oven to bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is melty and golden.

8. Serve hot with some fresh chopped parsley sprinkled over the top and with a fresh leafy salad on the side.


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