Saturday, 5 October 2013

Frugal Family Dinner - Tuna Mornay

This is a staple meal in our house and a great way to save money at the end of the pay period. This meal feeds 4 people and costs about $6-$8 - total! I usually make this once a fortnight to stretch out the supplies before grocery shopping...and the kids love it. I have labelled it a family meal but if you are trying to lose weight I wouldn't eat a huge serving due to the high carbs. You could substitute the cheese and milk for low fat versions and use wholewheat pasta if you wanted a healthier version. Traditionally tuna mornay is usually served with rice but my boys prefer pasta and they are growing inches every day it seems, so the more calories the better.

Tuna Mornay


2 x cups of pasta. We use Penne.
100g butter
1/3 cup plain flour
2 1/2 cups of milk
1 x 420 can tuna in springwater
1 desertspoon chicken stock powder or flavouring of your choice
1/2 cup grated cheese
Extra grated cheese for serving

Put your pasta into boiling salted water, then melt your butter in another large saucepan. The start of the mornay is a white sauce. This is how I have always made mine but if you make yours differently that's okay as long as it is not too runny. Once the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat, stir in flour and add milk gradually until all lumps are removed. If you need to, use a whisk to get the lumps out.

Add the chicken stock and return the pan to medium heat. Stir until the sauce thickens. Add more milk if you need to.

Once you have a nice thick white sauce add the cheese and stir until melted through.

Your sauce should look something like this. Turn the heat down to low.

The next step is to add the tuna. I crumble it in my fingers when I add it as the kids don't like big chunks of tuna but you could leave them if you desire. Stir it through well.

Drain your pasta, rinse with water, and place in a large bowl. Cover with mornay sauce and mix. Serve with grated cheese. Voila!

This is my midweek, get home after gym version of this meal. It only takes 20 mins and dinner is on the table.
If you allow more time you can fancy it up by adding diced ham or bacon or spring onion, chopped boiled eggs, or even baking the end result in the oven with torn up pieces of bread and cheese to make a crispy topping. The variations are endless. How do you do yours? My guys just like it plain...suits me fine.

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