Allium tuna pasta bake with crisp topping

By Yotam Ottolenghi





Ingredients 2 large leeks, trimmed and cut into 1cm-thick coins (385g) 3 tbsp olive oil Salt and black pepper 1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and cut into 4cm-long pieces 15g unsalted butter 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced (100g) 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 250g dried casarecce, gemelli or other pasta 1½ tsp plain flour 600ml whole milk 400ml chicken stock (or water) 2 tbsp double cream 120g mature cheddar, coarsely grated, plus 50g extra for topping 15g picked parsley, roughly chopped 230g drained tinned tuna chunks in spring water (ie from 2 tins) 35g panko breadcrumbs bre 1½ tsp lemon zest This is a real crowdpleaser and needs nothing more than a big leafy salad alongside. Use whatever cheese and pasta you have to hand, adjusting the cooking time depending on which pasta you choose. Method Heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/ 425F/gas 7. Thoroughly wash and pat dry the leeks, then spread them out on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and scatter over a tablespoon and a half of oil, half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Toss to coat, then bake for 15 minutes. Add the spring onions to the tray, toss again to coat and roast for another 10 minutes, until soft and lightly coloured. Remove and set aside. Meanwhile, put the butter and a tablespoon of oil in a large ovenproof saute pan on a medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, until soft and golden brown. Add the garlic, cook for two minutes, until fragrant, then stir in the pasta and flour. Pour in the milk, stock, cream, three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and a quarter-teaspoon of freshly cracked pepper, bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, for 18 minutes, until the pasta is just cooked and the sauce has thickened. Off the heat, stir in the cheese, parsley and roast alliums – the leeks and spring onions – until the cheese melts, then gently stir in the tuna chunks so as not to break them up too much. Turn the oven grill to high. In a small bowl, mix the panko with the remaining 5 50g cheese, lemon zest and remaining remain teaspoon and a half of oil, then sprinkle evenly over the top of the pasta. Grill for six minutes, until golden gol and bubbling, and serve straight from the pan.