Staying with my friend, Jon, in Beijing, I promised to return his hospitality by cooking a meal for him one night. When I inquired into what he’d like, he thought a moment, then asked if I could do “a tuna and pasta-y baked dish.” Of course I can, that’s Tuna Mornay!
So that Jon can satisfy his future Tuna Mornay cravings, here’s three-phase recipe I produced last night.
250 g egg noodles
2 cans tuna packed in water
1/2 onion, minced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 cup peas and/or corn
4 Tblsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
600 ml milk
1/2-1 cup breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
Saute the onion and mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of butter in a saucepan. When golden, remove from pan. Add 2 Tblsp butter and lower heat. Sprinkle in the flour, stirring to form a roux. Pour in the milk, whisking to prevent lumps. Allow to simmer to thicken until it coats the back of the sppon. Add the tuna (drained), mushrooms, onions, peas/corn. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Boil the egg noodles until they are al dente. Drain. Pour the sauce over the noodles, mix well and transfer to an oven-proof dish. There should be a fair amount of liquid; the noodles will soak it up.
Melt the remaining tablespon of butter in a frypan. Add the crumbs and mix until coated. Spread evenly over the noodles.
Bake at 160C for about 20 minutes or until the crumbs are browned.
- If you are using fresh peas, you will need to cook them before adding to the sauce.
- Egg noodles absorb the sauce with more or less intensity depending on the shape of the noodle. If the dish turns out a bit dry, whip up some additional white sauce with milk, butter and flour to pour over it.
- The crumbs can be seasoned with garlic, lemon or your favorite dried herb.
- The measurements are flexible. My rule of thmb is to fill the baking dish with noodles (I usually use nests of wide cut noodles) and use the same volume of milk plus a little extra…