Go retro comfort food on Friday night with an old-school tuna noodle casserole – it’s simple to make from scratch, and simple to leave in the oven for the sitter to retrieve and feed the kids if you’re heading out to a Christmas party.
Tuna Noodle Casserole
You’ll need 3 cups of liquid for this quantity, but it doesn’t matter how much of it is milk, or stock, or anything else you like. In fact, you could reduce the flour to about a tablespoon and add a tin of mushroom soup and another tin and a half of milk, if you want to do the tinned soup thing.
1 Tbsp. canola or olive oil (or the drained oil from your tuna)
1-2 Tbsp. butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cups sliced mushrooms
salt & pepper
2-4 Tbsp. sherry (optional)
1/4 cup flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup milk
3 cups curly wide egg noodles
1-2 cans tuna in water, broth or oil, drained
1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs (I whizzed 3 small slices of whole wheat bread)
1 cup grated old cheddar
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375°F and butter a shallow baking dish.
Heat oil and butter in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for a few minutes, until soft. Add the mushrooms and some salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until they give off their liquid. Add the sherry and cook until most of the liquid has cooked off.
Add the flour and stir until the mushrooms are well coated (this will help prevent lumps); add the stock and milk and stir (or whisk) until it bubbles, then once it is boiling cook for a full minute, to reach the flour’s full thickening potential.
Meanwhile, cook the noodles in a big pot of water. Drain them and put them into the bottom of the baking dish. Stir the tuna into the mushroom sauce and pour it overtop.
Toss together (or pulse in the food processor) the bread crumbs and cheeses and sprinkle them evenly over the top. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden, crisp and bubbly.