Monday, January 24, 2011

Grown Up Tuna Casserole

I love comfort food.  I think of tuna noodle casserole as comfort food.  I have made it the traditional way with the cream of mushroom soup, but I wanted something a bit more grown up.  I did my normal, looking on the internet and pulling a recipe that looked good from and then changed it up to suit my taste.  This is what I came up with.  It was delicious and satisfied both my craving for comfort food, but also something a bit more grown up.  So, here is my grown up tuna casserole, er...  did I mention, no tuna?  Enjoy!


  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 c. frozen green peas
  • 1/2 c-3/4c. white wine
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2-1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (6-oz) can crab, drained and rinsed
  • 1 box favorite pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs (I used some plain panko because I didn't have enough, could use reg. in a pinch)
  • 1 c. shredded cheese (mozz. or cheddar)

    Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9x13 baking dish.

    Cook onion in 1 tablespoon butter and good drizzle of EVOO, with a pinch of salt in a 12-inch heavy skillet over med. heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms, then sauté, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms begin to give off liquid, about 2-4 minutes. Add white wine and bring to simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced. Remove from heat.

    Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat and whisk in flour, then cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes. Add milk in a stream, whisking, and bring to a boil, whisking. Simmer sauce, whisking occasionally, 5 minutes. Add to mushroom mixture, then add lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper and peas. Flake crab into sauce, add 1/2 tbsp butter and stir gently. 

    Cook pasta until al dente (almost cooked but firm). Drain pasta in a colander and return to pot. Add sauce and stir gently to combine. Transfer mixture to baking dish, spreading evenly.  Place in oven for about 10 min.  

    Meanwhile place breadcrumbs in pan with good drizzle of EVOO.  Toss to coat and cook over med-high heat until browned.   Mix with cheese and crumble over pasta, evenly.  Return to oven and cook until cheese is melted, topping is crisp and sauce is bubbling, 20 to 30 minutes.

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