Wednesday, August 14, 2013

TUNA ALMOND CHEESE NOODLE CASSEROLE



Adapted from San Francisco à la Carte

We like the taste of tuna, so I doubled the amount of tuna in this recipe to feed hungry people.  Also, using good quality canned tuna and some excellent sharp cheddar cheese will make a world of difference in the flavor of the dish.

INGREDIENTS:

6 ounces egg noodles, cooked until al dente and drained
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 10 1/2-ounce can of cream of celery soup
1/2 cup milk
4 7-ounce cans tuna, drained and flaked
1 cup diced celery
1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped scallions with some green tops
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
Chopped parsley for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425°.
Lightly butter a 2-quart casserole and combine the cooked noodles with the salt and minced thyme.  Set aside.
Putting together this recipe is about as easy as it gets.  In fact, the only real room for error is overcooking the pasta.  To avoid this, fill a large pot with an abundant amount of water and bring to a rolling boil before adding the egg noodles.  Make sure to season the water well — it should taste salty.  Cook until the noodles are almost done as they will continue to cook a bit more in the oven.
In a medium saucepan, mix together the milk and canned soup over medium heat until smooth, stirring constantly.  Gently fold in the tuna, celery, red bell pepper, scallions, mayonnaise and all but 2 tablespoons of the grated cheddar.  Stir until the cheese is melted.
Add the cheese sauce to the casserole and mix thoroughly with the noodles.   Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese and the chopped almonds.
Bake for about 20 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned.  Garnish with parsley before serving.
Serves 6

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