It's a classic take-along dish to pot-luck suppers, gatherings of family and friends, or family dinner. But, it's not one we prepare as many recipes use condensed soup, crushed potato chips, or canned fried onions — none of which are "staples" in our pantry.
But, this one is different. It includes none of those ingredients.
This (slightly modified) version was on the Martha Stewart website. Instead of canned condensed soup it uses chicken broth, milk and flour for the sauce. (In fairness, celebrity chef Rachel Ray also has one that avoids condensed soup or chips. I'll try that one next.)
This altered version of the MS recipe added mushrooms and chopped celery as both are "staples" here. If you forget to advance defrost the peas, just put them in a small colander and run hot water over them. I used whatever pasta product was already opened vs. elbow macaroni.
Tuna Casserole (ala Martha & Beatrice)
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 3/4 lb tubetti or elbow macaroni (or substitute another macaroni)
- 1 C panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 1/2 ounce Parmesan, grated (2 TBSP)
- 2 TBSP plus 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced small
- 3/4 C mushrooms (modified recipe add-in)
- 2 stalks celery, diced (modified recipe add-in)
- 3 TBSP all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 C low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 C whole milk
- 2 cans solid light tuna packed in water, drained and flaked
- 1 C frozen peas, thawed
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 2 minutes less than package instructions (it will be undercooked). Drain. In a small bowl, toss together panko, Parmesan, and 2 teaspoons oil.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high in pot. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened, 8 minutes. Add flour and whisk to coat onion with flour. Slowly whisk in broth, then milk.
- Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce is thickened, about 8 minutes. Stir in pasta, tuna, and peas and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer tuna mixture to 9-by-13-in.baking dish, top with panko mixture. Bake until sauce bubbles and crust is golden (17 to 20 minutes). Cool 10 minutes.