Toddler Tuna Pasta

This is one of the kids favourites. I make it with tiny macaroni I buy in France and they have been eating it like this since around 1 year old, so it is probably a comfort food for them with no tricky lumps and can eat it with a teaspoon.

Makes 5 toddler portions

100g small pasta
1/2 mug frozen sweetcorn
1 can tuna in oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 pint whole milk plus more for pureeing the sweetcorn
2 heaped tablespoons plain flour
1 tsp English mustard (optional)
50g strong cheddar, grated

Cook the pasta according to the packet's instructions, and steam the sweetcorn over the top of the cooking pasta. If you have kids that don't like chewing, you might want to give the pasta a few minutes more. If you can squash it easily between your thumb & forefinger it is just right for fussy eaters. Drain the pasta and cool under cold running water. Toss in a little oil, either olive oil or a little of the tuna oil, and leave to one side.

Puree the sweetcorn in a small food processor or blender cup. Add milk to help make a smooth puree. Leave to one side.

Gently soften the onion in the tuna oil in a non-stick saucepan. Add the milk and then the flour and whisk immediately (with a plastic whisk if using a non-stick pan) to break up the lumps of flour. This is really quick. Then keep stirring with a wooden spoon, making sure you scrape the base and corners of the pan, until the sauce starts to thicken. Once the sauce starts to bubble, turn the heat right down and melt in the grated cheese. Add the mustard if using.

Once the cheese has melted, add the sweetcorn puree. Mash the tuna as much as you think your kids need in the can, then stir into the cheese sauce. Add the cooled pasta and reheat.

This freezes and reheats really well in the microwave. I freeze it in 200g cream cheese tubs which is about a toddler portion.

For a more grown up version see Tuna & Pasta Bake.