Friday, March 22, 2013

Tuna Mac & Cheese


I'm not a fish person.  I've tried several different kinds of seafood to no avail. I just can't wrap myself around it to enjoy the taste or the texture.  I typically don't even eat tuna, not in a deli-style tuna salad or anything like that.  But, from an early age, tuna macaroni and cheese was something I always enjoyed.  A little something different in this pasta dish to turn it into a complete meal.  Cheesy pasta with tuna mixed through makes this a hearty, delicious twist on comfort food.

As a wedding shower gift, my grandmother gave me a community cookbook, The Ladies of Charity of the Diocese of Pittsburgh 50th Anniversary 1959-2009 (quite the mouthful, huh?).  Like any community cookbook worth it's salt, this one is full of simple recipes with easy, accessible ingredients to make lots of homemade comfort food in quantities to feed a large family. I've enjoyed finding lots of delicious recipes inside, but this recipe from Mary Lou Motko of Butler, PA, is one that I make on a fairly regular basis.  Dave loves tuna and since it's the one type of fish I'll eat, it's a great protein choice when we want to go meatless.  I've played around with the types of cheeses I use for the sauce, and I've never actually put the suggested potato chip or cracker topping on it, opting usually to sprinkle a little extra cheese for some gooey goodness.  The leftovers freeze wonderfully and I've often made this as a freezer meal to help out friends with a new baby or recovering from illness.  If you're looking for a twist on traditional mac and cheese, try this protein packed alternative for a hearty and delicious meatless meal.

Tuna Mac & Cheese


Ingredients

3 cups small pasta (such as gemelli, penne, elbows or shells)
2 large eggs
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons diced onions
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
3 6-ounce cans tuna, drained

Boil water and cook pasta as directed.  Drain and set aside.

Place eggs in a large bowl and beat lightly.  Whisk in milk, cheeses, garlic, onions, parsley and pepper until combined.



Stir in drained tuna until distributed.


Add pasta and stir to combine.



Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Transfer mixture to baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


Remove from oven and let set for 15 minutes before serving.


Makes 6 servings.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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