Tuna Casserole (All natural ingredients)

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I am not overly fond of oily fishes, except for salmon and tuna . . . and although the fresh is best, I always have tins of those fishes in the larder.  They come in really handy for casseroles and sandwiches, salads, etc.

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Tuna Casserole is something which I have always loved . . . but I have never been overly fond of using too many processed ingredients in making it, like tinned soup, etc.  I like to make my own sauce and it’s really not that hard to make a sauce from scratch and tastes so much better.

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I remember an old Italian woman telling me one time when I was in the grocery store buying tuna that I should only ever buy Albacore tuna.   She said the other stuff was garbage.  This was a very long time ago as I was a very young wife and mom at the time.  Since then I have only ever bought the Albacore.  I figure it an old Italian woman thought it was the best then it probably was the best.

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I know it does come at a premium price, but I think somethings are worth paying a bit more for them.  It also tastes a LOT better than the cheap stuff . . . and like the L’Oreal product commercials say . . . I’m worth it!

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This has a delicious creamy sauce, flavoured with cream and cheddar cheeses along with sauteed fresh mushrooms, onions, garlic and green peppers . . .  crunch buttery cracker crumbs and cheese on top . . . peas . . . noodles and the tuna. 

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It’s really a nice casserole that we both enjoy.  Yes . . . even the so called pasta hater.  I like to serve some vegetables or a salad on the side.  I hope you will give it a go and that you enjoy it as much as we do!

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*Tuna Casserole*

Serves 4

A delicious casserole which does not use tinned soup.  You make the sauce from scratch.  It makes a big difference.  Fabulous!

1 small punnet of button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

(about 1 cup)

1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced

1 small onion, peeled and minced

1/2 medium green pepper, trimmed and chopped

(You can chop the whole thing and freeze half of it.  That’s what I do.)

1/2 pound of flat pasta (I used taggliatelle, but you can use any flat noodle)

3 TBS butter

2 TBS flour

280ml of milk (about 1 1/4 cups)

125g of cream cheese (4 ounces)

1 tin of tuna, undrained

(I use the solid albacore in brine)

a mug full of frozen peas, thawed

fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

120g of strong cheddar cheese, grated (1 cup)

2 TBS finely grated Parmesan Cheese

crumbled buttered cracker crumbs

Melt 1 TBS of the butter in a large skillet.   Add the mushrooms, onions and green pepper.  Cook, stirring, until the vegetables have softened.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds until fragrant.  Add the remaining butter.  Sprinkle the flour over top and stir to combine.  Add the milk slowly, stirring until you have a smooth and thick sauce.  Add the cream cheese, stirring until it melts.  Stir in half the cheddar cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.   Crumble in the tuna and it’s brine.  Stir in the peas.  Set aside and keep warm.

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Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*f/ gas mark 5.  Cook the noodles according to the package directions.   Drain well and then stir the cooked noodles into the sauce.  Butter a shallow casserole dish and pour the mixture into it.  

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Sprinkle with the remainder of the grated cheddar cheese.  Scatter the crumbs over top along with the Parmesan.  Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until heated through and golden.

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