I have this recipe that I pulled out of one of the first issues of Rachael Ray’s Magazine and I adapted it just a bit to our liking, but that’s what recipes are all about, right?
Auntie Doni’s Tuna Casserole
½ lb. Barilla Whole Wheat Medium Shells
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
4 Tbsp. Butter
1 C. minced Onion
1 C. minced Celery
½ C. minced Red Bell Pepper
1 Tbsp. Flour
½ C. Dry White Wine (like a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, something you would drink, NOT cooking wine, EVER)
½ C. Chicken broth
1 C. Half and Half
1 C. frozen Peas
2 seven ounce cans of Tuna, drained and flaked
1 ½ C. Bread Crumbs (make your own, fresh is better then that stuff in a can)
Cook the pasta to desired doneness, I always take it 1 minute longer than the directions on the box say. Drain well and set aside.
In a large, deep pan (* I have Rachael Ray’s pasta pot, so I use this to boil the pasta and make the sauce, see below) over medium heat, sauté the onions and celery with the Olive Oil and 1 tablespoon of the Butter, for about 3 minutes or so, don’t brown the veg.
Add in the Red Bell Peppers and cook for about a minute.
Stir in the flour and cook for about another minute. Mix in the wine and reduce for 1 minute. Now whisk in the broth and bring to a boil to thicken.
Turn the heat down to low and stir in the half & half; season to taste with salt and pepper.
Throw in the peas, tuna and cooked shells, fold everything together and leave to heat through.
Preheat the broiler.
Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a large microwaveable bowl (I use my big Pyrex measuring cup). This is optional, but I like to swirl in a couple dashes of hot sauce and then mix in the bread crumbs.
Spoon the Tuna mixture into a 9X13 inch ovenproof dish and top with the buttered bread crumbs. Pop the casserole under the broiler just long enough to brown the top and then …
This makes too much for the two of us to eat in one sitting, so I split the recipe and this time I put half into a disposable aluminum pan to share with our new neighbors, who I know were too busy to make dinner.
Served with a green salad and the rest of that bottle of dry white wine and that’s dinner or lunch if you like.
When DH asked what we were having for dinner and I said Tuna Casserole, I got, “EW! I don’t like that”. Hmmm, really? Then why is it all gone? AND why did you ask me, “Why are you giving away good food to the neighbor?”
*This is my new favorite pot!