I have just returned from my summer holiday and it has been awhile ago since I last met up with my friend, Andrea and her little girl, Ladina. Andrea initially invited me over to her place for lunch but unfortunately, I had twisted my ankle so badly from the night before that I requested if we could instead have lunch at mine. Since I had been away for so long, I had very little items in my refrigerator and had to get creative with whatever I had in stock. I also had to be mindful about what I planned to cook so Ladina, a one year old, could also have the very same meal we were going to have for lunch. Check out what I made!
Baked Tuna and Tomato Mac & Cheese
500 g macheroni
75 g butter
3 tablespoons flour
750 ml milk
200 g grated gruyere cheese
100 g grated parmesan cheese
4 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 can of tuna in water, drained and flaked
Salt and ground white pepper
Preheat the oven to 215˚C. Boil a pot of salted water with a little olive oil and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet until al dente.
Whilst you have that going, melt the butter in a Dutch oven or a saucepan large enough to fit all the pasta (after its been cooked) and add the flour. Whisk the entire time for a minute over medium-low heat.
Next, gradually add milk and keep whisking until smooth. Whisk gently until the mixture comes just to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the grated cheeses and stir until melted and smooth.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain and toss it into the Dutch oven or saucepan of cheese sauce. Stir until it is well coated. Add the chopped tomatoes, tuna and season with salt and white pepper to taste.
Next, place the Dutch oven into the preheated oven. Or, if you have cooked it in a saucepan, pour the cooked pasta into a baking or earthenware dish and place it into the oven. Bake for at least 15 mins or until it is golden on the top and bubbling. Serve immediately with a bowl of green salad on the side or just by itself!