Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Awesome Tuna Casserole. Really!

I don't know about you, but for me, the words "tuna casserole" don't typically make me think "Yum!" They typically make me picture some gloppy, tasteless mess in a baking dish. So I'm not sure what inspired me to bookmark this Rachael Ray recipe for tuna casserole, but I'm really glad I did! John made this for us last night and it was awesome. Really! The spinach, the white beans, the tuna, the cheese - all so good! Even Joe, whose not really a fan of spinach or tuna (unless it's in his grandmother's tuna pasta), really liked this. I can't wait to eat the leftovers tonight. Trust me, put aside your stigma of tuna casserole and make this dish - it's a winner!

Tuna Casserole

1 box whole wheat penne
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken stock (we used chicken broth)
1 cup half-and-half (we used fat free)
Ground black pepper
A pinch of nutmeg
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus some for passing at the table
1 can cannellini beans (15 ounces), drained
2 boxes frozen spinach (10 ounces each), thawed and squeezed in a kitchen towel to remove excess moisture
2 cans tuna in water (6 ounces each), drained

Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring up to a boil to cook the pasta. Once at a boil, add some salt and the pasta and cook until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain the pasta thoroughly, return it to the pot and reserve.In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO, one turn of the pan, and the butter. Cook the garlic and onion until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for another minute, then whisk in the chicken stock and half-and-half and season with salt, ground black pepper and nutmeg. Bring it up to a bubble and thicken.Turn off the heat, then fold in the parsley, grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, cannellini beans, spinach, tuna and penne. Pour the mixture into a 13-inch x 9-inch baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Place in the oven to brown the topping, about 10 minutes. (John used the broiler for about 1 minute also to get a nice crust on top.)


Jodi said...

Thanks for posting this! I make a tuna noodle casserole, but I've always thought there's got to be a better one out there! :) I like the idea of not having to use the cream of ___ soups because they're just so salty. I do use the low fat/salt versions though. I think I'll try this version next time we make it at our house.

Dana McCauley said...

I didn't make tuna casserole until I was 40 and I loved it! But, I actually really like tuna salad so I guess it wasn't exactly a revelation.

Pamela said...

I have to say that this really does look and sound fabulous. It definitely sounds tastier than the one I grew up with. Thanks!