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Cheesy Rigatoni with Tuna & Broccoli



This dish today is adapted from a recipe by James McNair that I found in a cookbook entitled "From Our House to Yours: Comfort Food to Give and Share", by Joyce Goldstein.  It is rich and delicious.


I used the basic recipe for the pasta and sauce and then I added my own twist to it.  I also cut the recipe perfectly in half for just us, and it worked well.  In fact I would say that half of the recipe would easily feed four people just right.


I made half the recipe, which should have fed two to three people, but we only managed to finish half the dish, so definitely make it when you have a table full of hearty hungry eaters in the house to feed.


Its really a very simple make.  You just cook the pasta and then layer it in a baking dish.  Next you make a rich bechamel sauce, using both regular and evaporated milks.  You can use the skimmed evaporated milk which will cut down on the fat somewhat  . . .  but really  . . .


With all the cheese involved why bother!  There are four kinds of cheese.  Emmenthaler (a Swiss type of cheese) and Gruyere (another type of Swiss-ish cheese) . . . both of which have great melting properties.  The Emmenthaler is a bit nuttier and sweeter I think  . . . then there is a sharp Cheddar (I used a vintage one) and Parmigiano Reggiano.  All cheeses I had leftover from Christmas.  I also had leftover cooked broccoli I wanted to use up, which is why I just threw it on top, added a tin of good quality tuna drained.  Those were layered over the pasta and the sauce gets spooned over top.  All the cheese is layered on top of the sauce, creating a ooey gooey blanket of yumminess!


*Baked Rigatoni with Four Cheeses*
Serves 4 to 6
 
Rich and indulgent.  The original recipe is one by James McNair. I added tuna and cooked broccoli. 

1 pound dried pasta, such as rusilli, penne, rigatoni or ziti
6 TBS butter
70g plain flour (1/2 cup)
960ml milk (4 cups)
480ml evaporated milk (2 cups)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
freshly grated nutmeg to taste
180g each grated Gruyere, Emmenthaler and strong Cheddar cheese (1 1/2 cups each)
180g grated Parmigiano Reggiano (1 cup)
1 tin of albacore tuna in water, drained (7 ounces) broken into chunks
2 cups cooked broccoli florets 



Heat a large saucepan of generously salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring frequently, until done to al dente, according to the package directions.  Drain well, rinse in cold water and drain again.  Set aside. 


Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking dish.  Spread the pasta out in the dish.  Top with the flaked tuna and broccoli. 


Melt the butter in a large saucepan.  Add the flour and whisk together, cooking over low heat for about five minutes.  Remove and set aside.  Combine the milk and evaporated milk in a large saucepan and heat just to the boil.  Pour all at once into the pan with the flour/butter mixture and whisk together until smooth.  Season with some salt, ppper and nutmeg.  Place over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken.  Pour this evenly over top of the tuna, pasta and broccoli in the casserole dish.  Mix together all of the cheeses and sprinkle them evenly over top of all.   


Bake in the preheated oven for about half an hour.   Place under a heated grill to gild the cheese if desired. 


Note - you can leave out the tuna and broccoli if you wish. 



Even my so called pasta-hating other half gobbled this up.  In his words, it wasn't so bad.  Now, knowing him and his taste for pasta, that was a high compliment indeed.  Bon Appetit!

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Marie Rayner
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2 comments:

  1. Your cheesy dishes always look so good..you must have a lovely even cooker:) Korean Beef tonight;)

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    1. Thanks Monique! I haven’t made Korean Beef in a while! I need to do it again soon! Hope you’re staying warm! Xo

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