RECIPE: Mac Cheese with Tuna & Sweetcorn - Marshford Organic Foods

Mac Cheese with Tuna and Sweetcorn

Mac Cheese with Tuna and Sweetcorn - Credit: Marshford Organic Foods

Vanessa Ebdon, from Marshford Organic Foods in Northam, shares her seasonal recipe for Mac Cheese with Tuna and Sweetcorn.

It seems you can't walk into a café or pub these days without a version of Mac'n'Cheese on offer and its even available as a ready meal! I must admit there is something quite alluring about the creamy sauce coated pasta, a lovely one dish meal to eat by the fire or watching TV. It really is an easy dish to make and I love ‘bakes’ as putting the oven on warms the kitchen and the smells pervade throughout the home – a real test of comfort food. 

I can't remember exactly where this version came from – I've been cooking it since the kids were small and has proved a winner over time. It has endless possibilities of course, layering anchovies or roasted strips of red pepper over the top pizza style for one, sliced tomato perhaps or even dotted with “salad seaweed” such as dulse. Its also quite good to finish up any soft cheese, crème fraiche etc., just reduce the amount of milk a little to compensate. I like to use a mixture of grated cheese as well – it just depends what you have in the fridge. One of the red cheeses gives great colour to the sauce and parmesan sprinkled on the top makes a slightly crusty finish. Serves two or three. 

Mac Cheese with Tuna and Sweetcorn 


  • 175g elbow macaroni (gomitini) 
  • 135g onions 
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil 
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 50g cornflour 
  • 650ml milk 
  • 160g tin tuna in olive oil (sustainably fished) 
  • 140g sweetcorn from a can 
  • Tablespoon chopped parsley 
  • 150g cheese, grated 
  • salt and black pepper 

Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the gomitini. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes (the pasta should not be cooked all the way through). Place a cup in the sink and drain the pasta in a colander over the cup to catch some of the pasta water. Remove the cup from the sink and run the pasta under cold water to stop further cooking. Shake well and leave to drain. 

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Finely slice the onions and sauté in the olive oil until they are transparent. Crush the garlic and add to the pan. Stir and fry for a few minutes then add the dried oregano and 250ml of the reserved pasta water. Simmer until the onions are cooked through – most of the water will evaporate. 

Whilst they are cooking, mix the cornflour with half the milk in a small bowl. It helps to do this with a hand blender to make sure it is well incorporated and also this would be the time to add any other bits of soft cheese etc (see above). Add the rest of the milk to the bowl. 

Return to the pan with the onions. Add the can of tuna with all the oil and break up the lumps. Add the sweetcorn. Place over a low heat and add the milk mixture. Gently stir this mixture until it thickens and then remove from the heat. 

Add half the pasta then two thirds of the cheese and stir well. You may need to do this in the pan you originally cooked the pasta in. Add the remaining pasta, stir and season with the salt and pepper. Pour this into an oven-proof casserole, sprinkle the parsley on top and cover with the remaining cheese. Place into a preheated oven at 185ºC for approximately 20 – 25 minutes until the top is golden and bubbly. Serve with a green salad.

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