Gourmet Tuna Mac 'n Cheese

No, that is not an oxymoron, another Mac 'n Cheese variation, yes.  They are never ending, but luckily always in favor.  At least in our house.  This one requires that you open a can of tuna.  Something most of us have as a pantry staple, things handy for a quick dinner.  Also some black olives, which should be another staple.

It is gourmet because of the black olives, fresh dill, the slivers of preserved salted lemon and the good cheeses in there.  Also, because it is made from scratch.  Well, except for the tuna.

I am trying hard to remember what all did go into this.  Funny how you can be cooking and just neglect to write things down.  At least some pictures got taken.  All is not lost. Tuna water was added to the Bechamel, which always makes sense to me.  That is a type of fish stock, right?
Gourmet Tuna Mac 'n Cheese

3-4 Servings

2 shallots, minced (or green onions)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 3/4 cups milk (I used soy)
1/4 cup tuna water
2 tablespoons sliced black olives
2 tablespoons slivered preserved lemon (or zest of 1 lemon)
2 good sized sprigs fresh dill, chopped
1 can tuna, packed in water, drained  (save the water for your sauce)
salt and black pepper to taste
1 8oz. package of macaroni or penne noodles
8 oz. grated cheese - cheddar is good, Jack, Gruyere or whatever you have (not mozzarella or blue)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup breadcrumbs, tossed in a bit of olive oil or melted butter (I forgot on mine)

Get everything laid out, minced, chopped, sliced and ready to roll.  Start the pasta water boiling. Salt it well.  Preheat oven to 350F.

Melt the butter and saute your shallots or green onions, then add the flour and cook a few minutes before adding the milk and tuna water, a little at a time, stirring continuously to prevent lumps.  When all the milk is incorporated and the sauce is thickened, add the tuna, olives and lemon.  It can be held at this point until the pasta is ready.  Then stir in the dill and cheese. 

Now dump the drained pasta into your buttered baking dish and pour the cheesy tuna sauce over it.  Stir so that the noodles are all coated.  Top with Parmesan cheese and the breadcrumbs, and bake until everything is bubbly, about 15 minutes.  If you have enough (I didn't) sprinkle more dill on top when you serve.  I didn't remember the breadcrumbs until the next day's lunch with left-overs.  Typical.

We had this with a simple green salad, and it was absolutely the best - a flavorful, satisfying meal.  And, on the agenda for future mac 'n cheese bakes.  It is my pasta of the week, going to Presto Pasta Nights, hosted this time by Sarah of Maison Cupcake.


Swathi said...

Sure this one is gourmet mac 'n' cheese. I love them as they handy in emergency.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely way to jazz up a mac n cheese :)

Christy said...

I love tuna casserole and I love homemade mac 'n cheese - this is like a love marriage of the two!

Quay Po Cooks said...

Mac n cheese is always welcome in my home. Nice!

Kankana said...

WOW .. now that's Gourmet! Looks yummyyy

Kankana said...

WOW .. now that's Gourmet! Looks yummyyy

Tanvi@Sinfully Spicy said...

Tuna mac & cheese? Wow never heard of that.Looks amazing.
Re: Mava is solidified milk, more like ricotta cheese.Dulce de leche is supposed to be a milky sauce.I dont know if that can be a substitute.But you are right that the taste would be similar-milky.
Have a nice weekend!

Joanne said...

I love dressed up versions of comfort food and this sounds delicious to me!

Ruth Daniels said...

Sounds wonderful - especially the olives and preserved lemons! Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Night.