Guess who came home last night?

And guess what he brought?

He bought presents. Presents for my dogs.

Does he know the way to my heart or what?

In honor of his homecoming, I made Tuna Noodle Casserole – Redux, from food52.

Why does this honor his homecoming?

I don’t know, honestly. It felt a little like meeting him at the door with a martini and a dress with a circle skirt – except without doing either of those things. As a feminist, I wholeheartedly reject the idea that that any woman should be expected to do that – but I like the idea of an optional throwback every once in awhile.

Anyway. The casserole:

Tuna Noodle Casserole – Redux
Very slightly adapted from the recipe available on food52

  • 5 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, minced
  • 1/4 cup italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon bouillon paste (or 1/2 cup stock)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 8 ounces mixed or single type pasta, cooked until al dente and drained
  • 2 cans oil packed tuna, drained
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. In a large sautee pan, heat 1 Tbs. of butter over medium-high until foaming. Stir in mushrooms and cook until mushrooms have given off all of their liquid and cooked through (10 or so minutes). Season lightly with salt and pepper, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Add another 1/2 Tbs. butter to the frying pan, then cook onion, shallot and celery together for about 5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the herbs and the sherry and cook for another 2 minutes. Add to the bowl with the mushrooms, then set this aside.
  3. In a saucepan, heat 3 Tbs. of butter over medium-high until foaming. Stir in the flour to make a roux and cook for about 2 minutes. Then whisk in the milk and chicken stock, bit by bit, to make a smooth sauce. Cook, stirring, until just slightly thickened (another minute or two). Then add the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Flake the tuna and combine the tuna, the white sauce, the mushroom-onion mixture, and the noodles all together. Grease and 8X8 inch baking pan and transfer the casserole mixture into it.
  5. In a small pan, melt the last Tbs. of butter. Stir in the minced garlic and the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring, until the crumbs are golden brown. Sprinkle this all over the casserole. Put the casserole in the oven and bake until it is bubbly, about 30 minutes. Serve!
  • I used fusilli and some plain old spaghetti for the pasta part.

    In true 50s style, I served it with roasted asparagus.

    I would like to say that I included a jello salad of some kind for dessert, but I’d be lying.

    Also: gigantic bowl of oatmeal with cottage cheese and grated apples.

    Isn’t it amazing how beautiful flowers can make even oatmeal look classy?

    Buffalo chik’n salad.

    Also, looking at these pictures, I’m wondering how many cups of coffee I had yesterday. I think perhaps it was a lot.

    Mmm, coffee.

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