Friday, February 05, 2010

Tuna Cassarole

a couple of weeks ago my daughter asked me to post the recipe for this, and I couldn't believe I hadn't already done it!

and of course that also meant that I had to actually make one so I could write down the recipe!

so this is last night's dinner --- and one of the best ones ever

here then is the recipe:


1 can (10.75 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup
2 cans (12 ounces total) tuna in water (or the equivalent in pouch tuna)
12 ounces (uncooked weight) medium shell macaroni
1 cup frozen peas
1 Tbls butter
1 Tbls flour
1 1/2 cups milk (I use 1%)
1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
1 cup crushed potato chips

How to:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large sauce pan, cook the pasta to al dente (about 9 minutes after it returns to a boil check the package) -- don't overcook -- it is going to be baked too (and remember to salt the water)

While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce:

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat
Stir in the flour to form a roux and cook for a couple of minutes to take out that "paste" taste (be careful not to let it burn)
Using a whisk, stir in 1 cup of the milk, blend well and turn the heat down slightly
Add the can of condensed soup, mixing well, and use the remaining 1/2 cup milk to "rinse" the soup can into the pan
When the sauce starts to thicken up, add the shredded cheese and turn the heat down to low
Continue whisking occasionally while you prepare the rest of the parts

Open and drain the cans of tuna

(I have one of these nifty plastic gizmos that just fits in the top of the can and lets you drain out the liquid without loosing any of the solids)

I don't try to squeeze out the liquid for this recipe -- there is some good flavor in that packing water, but you just don't want ALL of that liquid

Pour the frozen peas in the colander that you are going to use to drain your macaroni

When the pasta is done, pour it right in on top of the peas

It defrosts the peas without using any additional water

Return the drained macaroni and peas to the pan you cooked the pasta in, and add the tuna
Pour the sauce over the top and mix well

Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray and pour in the mixture

Top with crushed potato chips

Bake for 30 minutes