Tuna Noodle Casserole

No one really wants to admit that some of those 1970s semi-homemade dishes our busy moms fed us were actually tasty on occasion. In truth, there is some comfort to them, if you can just get past the guilt of opening cans, dumping the contents, and then heating. I have trouble with that, but in times of stress, I need this dish. So, here’s my take on it, using fresh ingredients. You’ll note that I have substituted edamame for peas. I hate peas.

(This recipe appears in my new book, “GETTING SAUCED – How I Learned Everything I Know about Food from Working in TV.” For more stories and recipes, click here to purchase a copy — https://bit.ly/gettingsauced

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

1 stick butter, divided, and softened

1 pound elbow macaroni

½ medium onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms

¼ cup all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

Salt and pepper to taste

1 large can tuna, drained and flaked

½ cup edamame

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

½ cup shredded Gruyere cheese

4 tablespoons breadcrumbs


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Using 1 tablespoon of butter, grease a large Pyrex or ceramic baking dish.

Fill a large pot with salted water. Don’t be shy; I use 2 tablespoons of salt. Bring to a boil on high heat. Cook the pasta as per boxed instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside. Do not rinse the pasta.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have softened. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Slowly whisk in the milk, and cook 5 minutes, or until the sauce slightly thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

With the saucepan on low heat, add the tuna, edamame, the mushroom mixture, the cooked pasta, and the cheddar and Gruyere cheeses, and stir to combine just until the cheese begins to melt. Pour into the buttered baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter and mix well. Sprinkle evenly on top.

Bake 25 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are lightly browned. Let the casserole sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving.