Cheesy (tuna) pasta with broccoli

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When we were growing up, my mum made lots of great meals, but probably the hands-down favourite for both my sister and I was cheesy pasta with tuna and broccoli.  It’s such a great comfort food, traditionally served in enormous bowlfuls with lots of melted cheese on the top.

While I do to keep a closer eye on portion sizes and calorie counts these days, there are some days when only a cheesy bowl of carbs will do the trick, so I had to learn to make this for myself when I moved out to go to uni.  I have to say – it’s a great hangover cure!  Unfortunately, Mr Chilli’s not a fan of tuna in hot dishes so I generally skip the tuna and just make mac and cheese with broccoli through it.  Tonight I had a real craving for it the way mum makes it, so added half a tin of tuna to mine after serving Mr Chilli, so I’ll give both recipes below:

Cheesy Pasta with Broccoli (serves two)

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  • 150-200g pasta (I use 175g for two and give Mr Chilli a slightly bigger portion) 7p
  • 85g strong cheddar, grated 60p
  • Roughly 25g butter (I normally just do this by eye) 10p
  • 25g cornflour (ditto) 7p
  • 2/3 head broccoli, chopped into medium florets 52p
  • 250ml milk 17p
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard 3p
  • Optional – tin of tuna 89p

Bring some salted water to the boil in a large saucepan and add the pasta.  Cook following the packet directions, adding the broccoli about five minutes before the end.  Drain.

Meanwhile, heat the butter over a low heat in a small pan until melted.  Remove from the heat, add the cornflour and mix to a paste.  Add the milk and out back over a medium heat, whisking for several minutes until thickened. If too thick, add a little more milk and whisk in.

Remove the white sauce from the heat and stir through the cheese and mustard.

Stir through the pasta and broccoli, and tuna if using, and serve with a little extra cheese on the top, if desired.

77p per serving, or £1.27 including the tuna. I also served with a side salad (about 39p each).

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