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karacooks

Tuna Noodle Casserole

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I'll start by saying I didn't bake this in the kamado last night, but it could easily be done in one and I suspect a little smoky flavor would be nice. So ... here's my not yo' mama's version of tuna noodle casserole. 

 

 

Filling

1/2 lb dried pasta of some kind (I used mini-farfalle for this one, because it's what I had in the pantry)

2 7-oz cans albacore tuna, drained (I use Kirkland brand)

8oz bag of frozen peas (I sometimes use a 12 oz bag, but I really like peas!)

 

Sauce

olive oil 

1/2 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced

2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

8 oz white mushrooms, sliced

1 tbsp butter

2-3 tbsp flour

1/4 cup white wine or sherry

1-1/2 cups milk (I used whole, you can use 2%, don't use skim)

1 heaping tbsp dijon mustard

a couple of sprigs of whole thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried)

 

Topping

1/2 to 3/4 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

spring onion/scallion to garnish

 

Start by boiling a large amount of well salted water and cooking your pasta of choice until it's BARELY done. You want to stop just short of al-dente. Drain it and set it aside. 

 

While the water is coming to a boil and the pasta is cooking, make the sauce:  Cook the onions in a little bit of olive oil until translucent and just beginning to brown on the edges. Add the garlic and give it a few good stirs. Add the mushrooms and let them cook down a little and release some of their liquid.

 

Add the butter and let it melt a little then sprinkle the flour over the whole thing and give it a few good stirs. It'll look sort of gritty, and that's ok. Keep stirring for a few mins to get the "raw" taste off the flour (but don't let it scorch).

 

Pour in the white wine or sherry and really scrape up all the good brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Then add in the milk, the dijon mustard, and the sprigs of thyme and stir/whisk vigorously. Bring it to a solid simmer until it starts to thicken then take it off the heat (and remove the thyme sprigs at this point if you used fresh thyme). 

 

In a baking dish or casserole dish, mix together the cooked pasta, the tuna, the peas (still frozen) and the sauce. It'll be a little runny and that's ok. (This is why we slightly undercooked the pasta). Spread it out evenly and top it with the combined breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Bake in a 350° oven for 30-45 mins, until it's bubbling and hot and the top is browned. 

 

(I actually make the sauce in my 3 qt Staub dutch oven and then add everything to it, and bake it in the same pot. One less container to clean!)

 

 

Garnish with diced scallion and serve with a side salad. 

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