Not Your Mama’s Tuna Noodle Cassarole

Serves 6

 

 

1 lb wide egg noodles*
1 lb sushi-grade tuna, cut to 1/2″ thick steaks
6 oz shitake mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thin, then cut to matchsticks
4 shallots, minced
4 oz butter
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 c organic (Organic Valley is best) half and half
1 stalk celery, minced fine
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 poblano pepper, seeded and minced
3 T whole wheat flour
2 t course ground black pepper (more if you’re into black pepper — which I am…)
1 t salt
1 oz fresh chives, snipped
1/2 oz fresh dill, chopped, then crushed with mortar and pestle
2 T lemon juice
3 oz shredded Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 c crushed potato chips (like regular Lays)

  • melt 2 T butter in a sauté pan and add celery, shallots, carrot, poblano, and chives.  Saute until veggies have become translucent and give up much of their moisture
  • using a slotted spoon, remove veggies from pan to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  • add another 2 T butter to the saute pan along with the olive oil and return to med heat
  • preheat oven to 370
  • bring a large stock pot full of water to a boil
  • add tuna to the saute pan and cook until almost done through — it should be browning lightly on both sides.  Remove from heat and set aside for 2 minutes
  • add lemon juice and dill to the pan; use 2 forks to flake the tuna and toss with the seasoning in the pan.  Add flaked tuna and pan drippings to the vegetables.
  • Add the last of the butter to the sauté pan and add mushrooms, tossing them gently in the butter for about a minute.  Remove mushrooms to the large mixing bowl with other ingredients — leaving s much of the butter in the pan as possible (it may be necessary to add a little more butter at this point.)  Return to med high heat.
  • add egg noodles to the boiling water and set timer for 6 minutes
  • whisk flour into the half and half and then whisk the slurry into the sauté pan drippings to deglaze the pan,  and heat to a full boil, whisking constantly.  Boil for a full 3 minutes and remove from heat
  • Toss the tuna and veggies with salt, pepper, and grated cheese.  Once the egg noodles are done, add them to the bowl, followed by the pan of sauce — and toss gently.
  • Turn the contents of the bowl into a shallow pyrex or other baking dish and top with crushed potato chips (seasoned bread crumbs mixed with more parmesan cheese will also work.)
  • Bake 35 minutes at 350.

Serve with a hearty serving of steaming broccoli and buttered toast!

*If you’re at all into fresh pasta — make your own wide egg noodles.
about 20 ounces uncooked should do the trick.
And… if you happen to be a gluten-free maven,
just substitute 4 cups of prepared long-grain rice,
and cut the amount of half and half back by 1/2 c.

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