Not Your Mom’s Tuna Casserole

Serves 8. Recipes and photography from MR. & MRS. SUNDAY’S SUPPERS by Lorraine Wallace. Copyright © 2015 by Lorraine Wallace. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Wallace writes, “It is surprisingly easy to update this classic casserole by replacing the high?fat and salt?laden condensed soup it is so often made with (probably known as the version you grew up eating). And if you want to eat fewer noodles, simply add more vegetables, like broccoli, to the casserole. This can be assembled without the bread crumb topping, covered tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerated for up to 1 day before baking. Just be sure to bring the dish to room temperature before baking, and to wait to top the casserole with the panko crumbs until ready to bake.”

Nonstick cooking spray

1 (12?ounce) bag egg noodles

1 (16?ounce) can oil?packed tuna

1 (10?ounce) package frozen peas, thawed and drained

3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1 large celery stalk, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, quartered

1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup all?purpose flour

1 1/2 cups chicken broth, homemade or store?bought

2 cups whole milk

1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs

1 tablespoon extra?virgin olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and position the oven rack in the middle position.

2. Coat a 13-inch-by-9?inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

3. Cook the noodles in salted water until al dente according to the package directions. Drain and rinse the noodles under cool water to stop them from cooking. Once cooled, pour the noodles into a large bowl and add the tuna, peas and 2 cups of the cheese. Toss to combine.

4. In a large skillet over medium?high heat, warm the butter. Add the onion and celery and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add the thyme, and continue to cook until the onion and celery are translucent, about 2 minutes longer. Add the mushrooms, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the vegetables are tender and the mushrooms’ juices have evaporated, about 5 minutes longer. Add the Worcestershire sauce and stir it in, then sprinkle the flour over the entire skillet and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the flour is completely combined with the vegetables and there are no lumps. Add the broth and stir to scrape up any brown bits. Slowly pour in the milk, stirring constantly to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the liquid has thickened and reduced by about 1/2 cup, about 8 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. Pour the vegetable sauce over the noodle?tuna mixture in the bowl and stir to combine. Immediately pour into the prepared casserole dish.

5. On a large flat plate, toss the panko with the oil and the remaining 1 cup cheese. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the casserole. Bake, uncovered, until the casserole is bubbly and the top is golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve piping hot.