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Friday, July 24, 2015

Penne Gratin

First of all Eid Mubarak to all  my  muslim readers!! Had a wonderful Eid over here, a bit rainy though.  Here in Maldives we are getting ready to celebrate our 50th  Independence day celebrations, which is the 26th of July, although the celebrations are starting tonight . The streets are in chaos as there are lights coming up ...... and the kids are looking forward for the Independence day fireworks and lights shows and everything else.

I wanted to make pasta and  since the IHCC ladies are doing  Jacques Pepin recipes these days I made Jacques Pepin's Penne Gratin for dinner. But ! I decided to jazz up Jacques Pepin's   Penne Gratin with tuna ( of course) and leeks.   So this is a jazzed up  version of Jacques Pepin's Penne Gratin. This is one of the recipes of Jacques Pepin that I love because its pretty straight  forward no fancy stuff and uses cheese that are easily available here. 

Recipe : Penne Gratin  slightly modified version of  Jacques Pepin's Penne Gratin recipe

2 cups penne pasta
1 1 /2 tsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup grated chedder cheese
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 can tuna, flaked
1 large leek, finely sliced
1/2 tsp dried  mixed herbs.
2 cloves garlic, chopped
small knob of butter
1 large tomato, deseeded and chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp paprika and pinch chilli powder

Preheat oven  at 400 degree F ,  lightly oil a  6 cup oven proof dish.

Cook pasta  in boiling salted water , till almost aldente' .  I like to keep it slightly under done as  the pasta is going to be cooked in the oven as well.  Drain and set aside.

[Heat a large  frying pan and melt knob of butter and  add the leeks and garlic and  herbs and soften them. Then add the flaked tuna and cook for a minute or two. Season with a little salt and pepper ( if you like it spicy add a little  chopped up green chilli, )] .   Add this into the pasta . 

To make the cheesy bechamel sauce :  melt  butter and add the  olive oil into a sauce pan. Once it melts add flour and whisk well over a low heat.  Add milk a little at a time , whisking as you add it.   Bring to the boil and stir often  so it doesnt catch at the bottom and burn.  Once it start to thicken, add cheese and salt and pepper.  Cool slightly.  

Then add the sauce into the pasta and mix well.

Pour the pasta mixture into the oven proof dish,  top with the chopped tomatoes.  Mix the grated parmesan cheese with paprika and chilli powder and sprinkle this all over the top of the  gratin. 

Pop in the oven and bake for 30 minutes till the sauce is bubbling and the top is golden.

Remove and serve!! 


Linking this post to IHCC's  theme for this week,  Mother of All Sauces ......  


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