There is a restaurant in the Hayes Valley in San Francisco that advertises “comfortable” food outside, and not on a chalk board but painted right on the restaurant! I like to think that my tuna noodle casserole fits that bill — if you didn’t feel like eating it, a big vat of it would probably feel nice and fluffy to relax in!
I am in need of comforting food this week. The X-rays the doctor took revealed that not only is my foot NOT healing, the break is twice as wide as when I first broke it! Cleaning out my cupboards barefoot was not a good idea in retrospect…
So I’m sad and probably in need of a protein, and from what I’ve read it’s OK to use Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea tuna (check here for yourself: Dolphin safe tuna). I like solid white albacore in water for eating but for cooking, I use chunk white because it has a slightly stronger flavor.
Comfortable Tuna Noodle Casserole
1 can tuna
1 cup milk (I use lactose-free)
2 tablespoons Earth Balance or butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons dried onions (optional)
sea salt to taste
1 cup broccoli or peas (thawed but not cooked if frozen, par boiled if fresh)
1/8 cup dry sherry
3 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ lb bow tie pasta (cooked al dente)
Preheat the oven to 350.
Create a white sauce by melting the margarine and dissolving the flour in it completely. Wisk in the milk and when it starts to thicken, add the sherry, salt, and dried onions if you are using them. I like to add some color here in the form of broccoli or frozen peas. If you are using frozen, just rinse them to remove any ice crystals first, and then stir them in and wait a moment before adding your tuna. They will finish cooking in the oven.
Add tuna (pre-drained) and lemon juice. Now add your pasta, which you should have cooked al dente, draining it about a minute earlier than the box advises you to cook it. Mix well and put in an oven-safe casserole dish.
Mix the bread crumbs with the olive oil and distribute on top.
Bake until bubbling and crunchy on top!