Happy Monday! So, this is spring? Um… am I missing something? Like sunshine? Flowers? Sigh. This is an old post that got a snazzy new photo but it’s also one of my favourite comfort foods: Tuna Casserole. I wrote this in January of 2011. Sadly, the description of the cold is still suiting. Oh, well, if it’s gotta be cold, at least we can have casserole! C.M.
It’s cold in Toronto right now. Really, really cold. Like tights under your kid’s jeans and then snow pants kind of cold. Sartre must not have had kids to say that hell is other people. Those of us who live with children know that hell is actually other peoples’s stuff. Hats, mittens (which will NEVER stay on no matter what), scarf, snowsuit, boots… and that’s for one child! Once you’ve covered every frost-bitable surface of the children -which of course makes them whine and complain – and jollied them outside for an activity like sledding or snowman making, you really want to come home to something warm.
And for this we need comfort food. SPC contributor and dear friend Heidi introduced me to this tuna casserole almost a year ago. I’ve made it several times since and have been meaning to post it. But this weekend was a comfort food emergency! It’s a Rachel Ray recipe that I’ve modified a bit in the name of health. But honestly, my nod to health is really just a glance. This one is not going to get you into heaven, except that it’s easy and really delicious.
photo by Maya Visnyei
- Makes: 6 servings
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- 1 lb (450 gram) package of short whole wheat pasta like penne
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
- 3 cups (750 ml) cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thin
- 1 leek, cleaned well and sliced thin
- 3 Tbsp (45 ml) flour
- 2 cups (500 ml) milk
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) Dijon mustard
- 3 x 7 oz (198 g) cans good quality tuna
- 1 cup (250 ml) frozen peas
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) dried thyme
- 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) Gruyere, grated
Turn broiler on to low heat.
Bring a large pot of water to boil.
Add penne noodles and cook until al dente and no more, about 8 minutes.
In a pan with olive oil, sautee mushroom and leeks until they begin to soften, about five minutes.
Sprinkle flour over mushrooms and leeks and stir.
Allow to cook for about 1 minute.
Whisk in milk and allow to thicken, about 3 to 5 minutes.
If the sauce isn't thickening, inch up the heat just a bit.
Stir in mustard and season with salt and pepper after tasting.
Add the tuna and frozen peas and thyme.
Once noodles are cooked, drain and add to the vegetables and stir.
Turn off the heat.
Pour the noodles and vegetables into a casserole.
Sprinkle cheese over top and pop into the oven, close to broiler for 3 to 5 minutes or until the cheese bubbles and turns brown.
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When Ceri and I worked together at FASHION magazine the biggest topic on any given day was always lunch. The Devil Wears Prada we were not. We liked to eat.
I once spent a summer as a counselor at a sleep away camp in the Catskills. (Stay with me…this is going somewhere about kids and nutrition.) I was in charge