Monday, March 2, 2009

Not your average Tuna Noodle Casserole

Big snowstorm today. Screams for tuna noodle. Plus, the husband has been helping me build a chicken coop and so he deserves a treat. He's way stacked up on brownie points for not only letting me have chickens, but also actively helping me build! I will post a separate post about the chickens, and look for lots of egg based recipes come summer.....
This recipe will make two casseroles - one for a friend with a new baby or other distress in her life. The other for your own dinner. Notice the absence of the usual 'cream of crap' canned soup. I only know of one recipe worth cooking that uses these products and that is my husband's almost-from-scratch Mac and Cheese. Which, if you tasted it, would make you want to marry him, too. I might make him post that sometime. Anyway, here we go.
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages uncooked medium egg noodles
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 bag baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups water
  • salt, pepper, pasta seasoning, chicken broth concentrate to taste
  • 5 (6 ounce) cans tuna, drained and flaked
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons of those horrid french fried onions that the husband loves
  • 2 cups shredded Goat Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Parmiggiano or similar
How you do it:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Butter a medium baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter and one tin foil 9x13 dish.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add egg noodles, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
  3. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the onion, celery, and garlic, and cook 5 minutes, until tender.
  4. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan, and whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually whisk in wine, cream and water, and continue cooking 5 minutes, until sauce is smooth and slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in tuna, peas, spinach, onion mixture, and cooked noodles. Transfer to the baking dishes. Stir the cheese in - we like our cheese 'in' not 'on'.
  5. Bake covered for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until bubbly and lightly browned. Put the terrible onions on for the last five minutes, when you can also take the lid off.
Well, in all its glory, I forgot to photograph the endresult. Silly me. It just looked so good and we were so hungry. It looked like tuna noodle with green polka dots.

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