So, when this week I saw my friend, Eileen who writes the blog Living Tastefully-Passions to Pastry, had a tuna casserole recipe that she found from another blog, it just sounded delicious. Eileen grew up in the small villages where I did in the Amana Colonies in Iowa. I did not know her as well as her older sister (Eileen is a lot younger than me), but I find her blog and her expertise in the kitchen amazing. In fact, when Eileen said she made this tuna casserole twice in one week, I knew I had to try it.
In fact, I have been reading a lot on blogs recently about getting rid of the old Cream of Mushroom Soup and making your own mushroom sauce. Yes, it was a little putzing in the kitchen to get this all together, but I find it was so worth it. If the Trout had been home earlier, he could have done all the chopping for me which always helps tremendously.
I will definitely keep this recipe handy and would even serve this to company. It was that good!!!
The recipe follows.
Grown-Up Tuna Noodle Casserole
Butter to grease 2 1/2 to 3 quart casserole (I used a 9 x 13 pan)
12 ounces pasta (whatever you like) ( I used penne which I had on hand)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
1/3 cup minced shallots
4 gloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons flour
3 1/2 cups whole milk (I used 1% plus heavy cream to get the right amount)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons capers, drained
2-5 ounce cans chunk light tuna, drained (I used two 7 ounce cans from Costco)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup thinly sliced kale or spinach (I used spinach)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme (I used 2 heavy teaspoons of thyme out of my garden)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
I heavy grind of fresh pepper corns
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Butter the casserole dish and set aside.
Cook the pasta until al dente in a large pot of boiling water. Drain and set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and shallots and cook for about 5 minutes or until shallots are translucent and mushrooms are beginning to soften. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute. Slowly pour in the wine, lower the heat and cook until the liquid is reduced by half.
Add the flour to the pan and stir well to ensure all the mushrooms are coated. Increase the heat to high and slowly pour in the milk, bringing the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the milk begins to thicken and starts to look more like a sauce.
In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked pasta, Parmesan cheese, capers, tuna, sour cream, kale or spinach, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour the creamy mushroom sauce into the bowl and stir to coat all ingredients. Transfer to prepared casserole and set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Sprinkle in the breadcrumbs and cook until fragrant and slightly toasty. Sprinkle the crispy breadcrumbs over the top of the casserole and bake for 20 minutes or until the top is lightly brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle chopped parsley on top. Serve. Cover and refrigerate the leftovers for up to 3 days. The casserole also freezes beautifully.