Pesto Tuna Casserole

Now that school is back in full swing, easy and comforting dishes are super cool for hungry and busy people.  Right?

Here’s a good one: “Back 2 School Pesto Tuna Cass”, a remix of the classic “Tuna Casserole”.

Hope you make it soon!

1. Bring a big pot of water to a boil.  Put a strainer or colander in the sink so you’ll be ready to roll with draining the pasta.  Preheat the oven to 350.

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2. While the water is coming to a boil, chop up a small onion and a few stalks of celery.   Preheat a skillet on medium-high heat.

Once the water comes to a boil, cook some pasta shmasta…9-11 minutes tops!

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3. Add a little olive oil to the skillet and saute the onion and celery until it softens.  Go ahead and give the pasta a stir while your at it.

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4. Add a tablespoon of butter and a good dash of salt, stir around and let cook for another minute or so.

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5. Sprinkle flour onto veggies, stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.  This is a technique called, singer (pronounced, “sahn-zjay”).  It will make the sauce thick.

Check your pasta.  Is it ready to be drained?

Tip:  If you find yourself in a multitasking mess, just take the skillet with onions and celery off the burner for a second while you drain your pasta.  NBD  (that’s no big deal for you who are not in the know like I was until 10 minutes ago)  I feel old.

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6. Lower the heat to medium and whisk milk into veggies and cook for a minute or so until it becomes friends with the flour and thickens.

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7.  Add another friend to the sauce…CHEESE!  Whisk until it’s melted and the sauce is thick and creamy.  Turn the heat off and get ready to add it to the pasta in a minute.

This is going to be good!  As Uncle Si, says: “That’s a fact, Jack!”

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7. By now the pasta should be drained and still hot.  Add a few teaspoons of pesto and a large pinch or two of parmesan cheese and stir to coat pasta well.

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8.  Pesto Parmesan Pasta meets Cheesy Cream Sauce.  Add the yummilicious sauce to the pasta, mixing well.

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9. Add tuna and your favorite veggie.  (I love broccoli, but peas, cherry tomatoes, or yellow squash or good too).  Taste and see if it needs a little more salt.  If it does, then add another pinch and mix well.

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This is what my broccoli stem looked like after I chopped the little tops off for my dinner.

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Reminds me of the story, The Giving Tree, where the tree gave everything it had to help someone else.  Thank you Broccoli!

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10.  Pour into a baking dish and bake about 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

This is great for leftover lunch the next day too!

Please study and work hard in school.  It is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Bon Appetit’.
Chef Lori :)

entree

Pesto Tuna Casserole

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Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces egg noodles, cooked and drained
  • 3-4 teaspoons pesto sauce
  • 1 large can tuna, drained
  • 1 cup broccoli crowns or frozen peas

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook noodles 8-10 minutes and drain.
  • While pasta cooks, chop onion and celery. Heat a skillet on medium high heat. Add oil, celery and onion. Saute' until softened, 3-4 minutes. Add the butter a large pinch of salt & pepper. Stir while cooking for another minute.
  • Sprinkle flour on onions and celery. Stir while cooking for about a minute. Carefully whisk in milk. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly. Add remaining parmesan cheese and stir well. Remove from heat.
  • As soon as noodles is drained, add pesto, 1/2 cup parmesan and a large pinch of salt to noodles. Stir well and set aside.
  • Combine noodles, sauce, tuna and broccoli in a mixing bowl. Pour into a baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with a little more cheese and bake 15-20 minutes or until bubbly.
Servings: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 35 Minutes

This entry was posted on Sunday, October 6, 2013 at 1:30 pm and is filled under Easy, Intermediate.

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