Tuna Melt Mac 'n' Cheese
- prep time20 min
- total time 60 min
- serves 6
Mac and cheese doesn't have to be from a box. This Delicious dish uses canned tuna for a a heartier meal.
1 lb(s) hollow cavatappi or elbow with lines, or macaroni with lines
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
12 oz line-caught canned tuna, drained
½ cup finely chopped, red onion
½ cup 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh herbs, such as dill, parsley and tarragon
½ cup finely chopped red onion or scallions, whites and greens
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 - 2 celery, finely chopped
1 lemon, juiced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 stick butter
3 Tbsp flour
2 ½ cups whole milk
2 cups white cheddar or Gruyère, grated
1 ½ cups homemade breadcrumbs
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Salt the water and cook the pasta to less than al dente, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and drizzle with a touch of oil to keep the pasta loose.
2. In a large bowl, flake the tuna and add the herbs (reserving a tablespoon or 2 for breadcrumbs), onions, mustard, celery, lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil and some salt and pepper. Add the pasta and combine well. Transfer to a baking dish or large casserole dish.
3. In a medium saucepot, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour and cook 1 minute. Then whisk in the milk and season with salt and pepper, thicken to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in the Cheddar in a figure-eight motion. Pour the sauce evenly over the pasta and tuna. Gently combine with a spoon to settle the sauce. Cool and store for a make-ahead meal.
4. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in a small pan and add the breadcrumbs and reserved herbs, toss to evenly distribute the butter, remove from heat and transfer to airtight container.
5. To prepare, preheat the oven to 400ºF and bring the casserole to room temperature. Top the casserole with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Bake until golden and hot through.