Ahhh Tuna Casserole, this is such a comfort food and healthy to boot. It is basically a Tetrazzini named after the opera singer and the tuna can be substituted for turkey or chicken. I really can’t think of a better meal to hunker down with during a “Breaking Bad” second season marathon. A martini is the perfect cocktail for this meal and Richard was only too happy to oblige. Years of perfecting Richard’s perfect martini have netted us a delightful drink with a giant olive stuffed with blue cheese.
I have been preparing Tuna Casserole’s for many years and my usual dish was from an old Betty Crocker Cookbook that called for egg noodles, mushrooms, and sour cream. Over the years I’ve been experimenting with Christopher Kimball‘s “The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook‘s” Master Noodle Casserole recipe. My recipe is based on this one. This book is a regular reference for me. Another great recipe in this book that I use all the time is the Shepard’s Pie.
If there is anything I don’t like about this recipe, it’s that you have to use about 3 pots plus the shallow baking dish to bake the casserole. Of late I’ve fallen in love with the Emile Henry Flame Top Cookware because it can withstand high temperatures and you can use it on top of the stove. This cookware is rather pricy. I only have one piece and that is the 6.3 quart Flame Roaster
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 cup chopped tomato (I use grape tomato, if using canned, be sure to drain)
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
Salt/Pepper to taste
1 lb spaghetti
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs of flour
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup dry sherry
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBS lemon juice
3/4 cup frozen peas
3/4 cup frozen corn
3 6 oz cans white tuna drained and flaked
2 Tsp Paprika
2 TBS fresh parsley
1) Preheat Oven to 450. Butter a shallow baking dish. Melt 2.5 tsp of butter and mix in bread crumbs till coated with butter and set aside.
2) Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and sauté onion. Add tomatoes, corn, peas and salt and pepper to taste. Cook till corn and peas are no longer frozen and add to buttered casserole dish.
3) Bring a large pot of water to boiling and cook spaghetti till al dente. Drain Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water, return to pot and add spaghetti.
4) In medium saucepan melt 5 TBS butter and add flour and cook while stirring constantly for one minute. Slowly add the chicken stock and continue to stir and cook till mixture slightly thickens. Remove from heat and add sherry, parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt and lemon juice.
5) Mix spaghetti, chicken stock mixture, vegetables and tuna in prepared pan. Cover casserole with buttered bread crumbs. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley. Bake in 450 oven for approx 20 minutes or until bubbling and brown.