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Cheesy Tuna Casserole Bake

Cheesy pasta_bakeHere is yet another family favourite, which I have been making (as has my mother and my grandmother) for years. In Canada and the States it is an all-time favourite, and when new neighbours moved in, this was the classic dish to bring on by to say 'welcome to the neighbourhood!’.

As there are only two of us at home, what I tend to do is to make the mixture up in a bowl, and then divide it into one dish to bake at the time, and one or two freezer proof dishes (or I love the aluminium containers you can buy with lids) to pop in the freezer for later. If you choose to freeze some, then don't top with the bread crumbs and cheese until you have thawed the casserole and are ready to put it into the oven.

I love the peas in this casserole, and to me, it is a classic dish for any time of the year. (It is also great for taking for lunch the next day or having as leftovers! I love leftovers!!)

I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as my family has over the years.

Ingredients (serves 8 people):

1 can of cream of mushroom soup (regular or 98% fat free)
1 cup of creme fraiche
2 cups of frozen peas
2 cans (10 oz each) of tuna, drained
4 cups of fettucine egg noodles, broken into smaller pieces, cooked and drained (any pasta works well, but egg pasta is especially good)
1 tablespoon of dried dill
2 teaspoons of garlic powder or 2 garlic cloves, crushed
A couple of dashes of white wine (or sherry, brandy or even cognac works well! Optional, but yummy!)
Salt and pepper to tasteTopping:
2 tablespoons of dry bread crumbs
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 200°C.
  • Stir in all the ingredients other than the bread crumbs and cheddar cheese into a 3-quart casserole bowl.
  • Top with bread crumbs and then cheese on top (the bread crumbs help to keep the noodles from getting too crunchy).
  • Bake the tuna mixture at 200°C for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling.

Serving suggestion: serve with steamed cut green beans or a salad and garlic bread.

Vegetarian option: try using Quorn ‘chicken’ pieces as an alternative to the tuna. Simply sauté one packet in a couple of tablespoons of butter or oil, then follow the recipe as above.

Other options: sauté sliced mushrooms in butter and add to the mixture. Tinned, skinless and boneless salmon is a nice option, too. Or try corn instead of peas or frozen broccoli florettes. Definitely a recipe to experiment with!

Comments on this recipe:

I made the cheesy tuna dish last night and although I had to reduce the quantities, as there are only two of us, it was very quick and easy to make and very tasty. I will certainly be making it again.

Vanessa Crouch

 By Alyssa Savage

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