FLINTSHIRE cook Charlotte Seddon has created a tasty meal this week to feed a family of four that might contain a fussy eater or two.

Charlotte, who viewers saw reach the semi-finals of the latest series of the BBC’s MasterChef, says her tuna pasta bake should take about 55 minutes to prepare to make and will serve four people.

The Leader:

Charlotte Seddon in her kitchen

The bechamel or white sauce, based on her mother’s recipe, can be used as a basis for many other dishes such as lasagne.

The Leader:

The bechamel in the pan

Charlotte said: “I was a very fussy eater as a child, however this was one of my favourite meals and I would eat buckets of it, so if I ate it back then I would like to think it will please the most fussiest of kids today!

“My mum and I didn’t cook together much (given my hatred of food) however as a teenager cooking a bechamel and then a cheese sauce is one of the best things she ever taught me, and my mums recipe never fails to impress.

“This sauce can be used for so many other dishes such as lasagne, cauliflower cheese and fish pie, so perfecting this sauce will instantly open you up to so many other meals.


The Leader:

The ingredients you will need

  • 2 small tins of tuna in spring water (total drained weight around 200g)
  • 150g drained sweetcorn from a tin
  • 150g frozen peas (defrosted)
  • 250g conchiglie pasta
  • 150g cheddar cheese
  • 400ml milk
  • 1 shallot or ½ onion peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 peppercorns
  • ½ carrot cut into chunks (no need to peel)
  • 50g breadcrumbs
  • 60g butter
  • 30g plain flour

The Leader:

The finished pasta bake


  1. Pour the milk into a microwavable jug and add the carrot, shallot, peppercorns and bay leaf heat on full power for 2 ½ mins
  2. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees
  3. Cook the pasta in salted water for around 10 minutes, it should still have a slight bite to it
  4. Meanwhile in a large bowl mix the sweetcorn, peas and tuna together
  5. Drain the pasta and add to the tuna mix
  6. On a medium heat melt 30g butter in a medium saucepan, once it starts to bubble add the flour and mix quickly to combine (this is a roux)
  7. Allow the roux to cook for just over a minute until it starts to go a light brown
  8. Get a sieve ready and pour around 50ml of the milk through the sieve (to catch the aromats in the milk) into the pan, mix together and then beat together with a wooden spoon until it forms a smooth paste. The milk should absorb into the flour completely
  9. Repeat this process until all the milk is used. Each time you should mix the milk in so that it is completely smooth. The consistency should be that of a custard at the end, if it’s a little thick add a bit more milk, if the mixture reaches this consistency before you use up all your milk, stop early. This is now a bechamel sauce
  10. Add half of the grated cheese into the sauce and stir until all the cheese has melted
  11. Add the cheese sauce into the tuna mix and combine well and season generously with salt and pepper
  12. Tip the mixture into an over proof dish around 25cm x 25cm and spread out evenly
  13. Top the mixture with the remaining grated cheese
  14. Melt the remaining butter in the microwave (around 15 seconds)
  15. Add the breadcrumbs into the melted butter and mix well
  16. Top the dish with the breadcrumbs spreading evenly
  17. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes until the breadcrumbs and cheese turn golden
  18. Serve with a garlic bread and side salad