Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tuna Parmesan

One night, early in my cooking adventures, I wanted to make a dish with canned tuna. I looked online for some sort of sauce recipe, preferably with cheese. I had some Kraft Parmesan cheese in my refrigerator, and I found a recipe online that was simple enough to try. The sauce started with a rue (a starter for a sauce consisting of butter and flour), then I slowly added milk (to change a rue into a sauce, a cream product is added). I added the powdery Parmesan with a few other spices to the mix, and it came out with the texture of slop. Tasty slop.

This dish ended up being completed with the addition of the tuna, Campari tomatos, pasta, and mushrooms. It was tasty, and it turned into one of Jeff's favorite meals. The only problem I continued having was too large of portions.

In celebration of discovering true Parmesan cheese, and not using the crappy powder, I wanted to rediscover this dish.

2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, shredded
pinch salt
pinch pepper
pinch paprika
1 can tuna
4 Campari tomatoes, quartered
2 ounces pasta, rotini (or similar sized pasta)
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced

Cook pasta according to directions.

In a different pot, melt 1 tablespoon butter in skillet over medium high heat.
Sprinkle flour into melted butter, whisking constantly.
Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until mixture is golden and lumpy.
Gradually whisk in milk and bring to a boil.
Cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thickened.
Add parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and paprika, whisking until smooth.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, stir occasionally, until cooked.
Transfer sauce to skillet.

Add tuna, tomatoes, pasta, and mushrooms.
Simmer for five minutes on medium heat.

If I was being quick about this recipe, I would use a can of mushrooms, and add them at the end. Using real mushrooms produces a better result.

Using the real Parmesan cheese yielded a few different changes in the end result. The most significant to me was the taste. The cheese flavor was a whole lot bolder than before. Another interesting note was it lessened the proportions enough where it wasn't overbearing any longer. Wonderful.

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