Monday, July 1, 2019

Tuna and Pasta Casserole

“Never apologize for your cooking,” said Chef Morgan to her class of 12 students. We soaked up her words of cooking wisdom while drinking a glass of white wine, and watching her create a scrumptious three course meal for us. (My kind of cooking class!) 

Her comments return to me when the taste of my cooking is questionable, or, if I forget to add a crucial ingredient to a recipe.  It’s happens -  in our first year of marriage my husband and I were having friends over to our newly rented apartment. Crammed into a small eating area by the galley kitchen the eight of us enjoyed a pasta dish I had created. Halfway through the meal I went into the kitchen, and there, sitting in a colander on top of the refrigerator were the vegetables waiting to go into the pasta primavera. I had out-organized myself by cooking the veggies ahead of time with the plan to toss them into the pasta at the last minute. The veggies didn’t make it, I didn’t tell anyone and I never apologized.

     Speaking of pasta, here is a Tuna Casserole that my good friend Barb Matthews created. When she mentioned her kids ate this tuna casserole, I had to try it.  I added 1 clove of garlic to the onions and purposely left out the mushrooms and red peppers to appease my kids.. Enjoy!

Tuna Casserole
tuna casserole ingredients

Tuna and Pasta Casserole

Serve with a green salad

Serves 5

½ package egg noodles
¼ cup butter
¼ cup flour
2 cups milk
½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
½ cup mozzarella cheese, grated
2 hardboiled eggs, thinly sliced
1 (7 oz) can tuna, drained
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
½ cup onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
¼ cup red peppers, diced (optional)
1 cup bread crumbs or 1 cup crushed regular potato chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook noodles according to the package. Drain, rinse, place into a casserole dish and set aside.

Melt the butter over medium low heat in a medium-sized saucepan. Add flour and stir until lightly brown. Turn up heat to medium and slowly whisk in milk. Stir constantly until thickens. Add cheeses, hardboiled eggs and tuna; spoon into noodles. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, mushrooms, and red peppers and sauté until soft about 5 minutes. Add onion mixture to the noodles. Mix to combine. Sprinkle bread crumbs or crushed potato chips on top. Bake 20 minutes in oven.

Recipe Debriefing: One small problem with this recipe is that it uses 5 pots and pans (something I try to avoid because I HATE DOING DISHES!) To get around this you could cook the eggs the night before or in the morning. You could purchase breadcrumbs and pre-grated cheese. You could saute the onions, garlic, mushrooms and red peppers in the butter at the beginning and when they're soft add the flour and go from there....or you could ask someone else to help you wash the dishes!

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