Tuna and Tomato Mac and Cheese

  • Active Time 25m
  • Total Time 45m

4 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each

Tuna mac and cheese takes a trip to the Southwest with spicy tomato and festive blue tortilla chips on top. Canned tomatoes with green chilies and ancho chili powder add a peppery kick, but if you like, you can keep it mellow by using a 14-ounce can of drained petite diced tomatoes and mild chili powder.

ingredients

  • 8 ounces (about 3 cups) whole-wheat rotini pasta
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup nonfat milk, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated pepper Jack cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ancho chili powder (see Tip)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat cottage cheese, preferably low-sodium
  • 1 5- to 6-ounce can chunk light tuna (see Tip), drained and flaked
  • 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies (see Tip), drained
  • 1/4 cup crumbled tortilla chips, preferably blue corn

directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water according to package directions. Drain and rinse.

Meanwhile, whisk the flour and 2 tablespoons milk in a small bowl. Heat the remaining milk in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat until steaming.

Gradually whisk a few tablespoons of the hot milk into the milk-flour mixture, then whisk this mixture back into the skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce is smooth and slightly thickened, 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in Cheddar, pepper Jack, chili powder, salt and pepper.

Puree the cottage cheese in a food processor or blender until very smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Stir into the sauce in the skillet. Add the tuna and the pasta; stir well to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle the drained tomatoes evenly over the top.

Bake until hot and bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Top with crumbled tortilla chips.

Tip: &lt;br&gt; Ancho chili powder, made from dried poblano peppers, has a mild, sweet spicy flavor. Look for it in the spice section of well-stocked supermarkets. Chunk light tuna, like all fish and shellfish, contains some mercury. According to the FDA and EPA, women who are or might become pregnant, nursing mothers and young children should limit their consumption to 12 ounces a week of fish with lower mercury, including canned &amp;#8220;light&amp;#8221; tuna. Consumption of albacore tuna (which is labeled &amp;#8220;white&amp;#8221;) should be limited to no more than 6 ounces a week. And, if you&amp;#8217;re looking for an environmentally sustainable canned tuna option, check the label&amp;#8212;tuna that was caught by troll or pole-and-line is considered the best choice, according to Monterey Bay Aquarium&amp;#8217;s Seafood Watch Program. Or look for the blue Certified Sustainable Seafood label from the Marine Stewardship Council. We like to use flavorful Rotel brand diced tomatoes with green chilies&amp;#8212;original or mild&amp;#8212;in place of regular diced tomatoes in Southwest-inspired dishes. Find them near other diced tomatoes and/or in the Mexican-food section at most supermarkets. <br><br>Make Ahead: Prepare through Step 5 (transfer to a baking dish, if desired, before topping with tomatoes), cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Bake at 450 degrees F until hot and bubbling, about 35 minutes.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.

RecID 10744

nutrition information per serving

447 calories; 11g total fat; 6g total saturated fat; 38mg cholesterol; 723mg sodium; 55g carbohydrates; 5g fiber; 34g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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