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Posts Tagged ‘white sauce’


I always thought I didn’t like tuna noodle casserole until college. We had a wonderful southern cook for a few weeks who introduced me to this delicious variation on mac and cheese. I like to think the tuna gives it more nutritional value, but this dish is not about being healthy. I go to this when I’m in need of some cheesy comfort food, like I was this week. The creamy, cheesy sauce along with the flavorful mushrooms and crunchy crust on top make this one of my favorites. There’s truly nothing better.

I like to use Italian tuna in olive oil– it’s generally about twice as expensive as the American kind, but it’s so much more tasty. And the texture is more like actual fish. Try it if you haven’t, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

1/2 box small pasta such as egg noodles, mini ziti, mini shells, etc

2 cups sliced mushrooms

1 tablespoon chopped rosemary

1/4 cup Marsala wine or white wine

1 jar or can tuna in oil with oil drained out

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup milk

1 cup chicken stock

1 tablespoon ground nutmeg

1 cup cheddar, grated

1 cup parmesan, grated

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

truffle butter (optional)

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to box instructions but stop about 5 minutes early and drain.

Meanwhile, saute the mushrooms in a little olive oil until they have softened. Add the rosemary and toss through. Add the wine and continue to cook for 2 minutes.

Combine the flour and butter in a separate pan and cook until the paste starts to brown. Add the milk and whisk so that there are no lumps. Add the chicken stock and whisk again. Add the mushroom mixture, the tuna, nutmeg, and about 3/4 of the cheeses. Reserve the rest of the cheese and combine with the breadcrumbs in another bowl.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir through. Pour into a baking dish and top with the breadcrumbs mixture. If you have some truffle butter, you can dot the top with little bits of it. You may want to reserve it and add before serving as well. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until it starts to get bubbly and browned on top.

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As part of my pre-Thanksgiving feast, I made homemade roasted butternut squash ravioli and I hand-rolled the pasta. Of course, I ended up with a lot of filling and I was tired of rolling out the pasta sheets. So, instead of making extra ravioli I made some cannelloni later on. Cover them with a white sauce with blue cheese, and they’re delicious. I wish I had more leftovers. (I made the original filling vegetarian, but this is how I prefer it…)

Roasted Butternut Squash Cannelloni with Blue Cheese

1 butternut squash, chopped

6 sage leaves

3 amaretti cookies

1 cup mascarpone

1/4 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup grated parmesan

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

1/2 cup white wine

3 ounces blue cheese such as Stilton

1 container cannelloni shells

Roast the squash at 375 degrees after seasoning it with salt and pepper for about 45 minutes. Let cool and add to a food processor with the sage, amaretti, mascarpone, stock, half the nutmeg, and parmesan. Blend together and taste for seasoning.

Meanwhile, cook the cannelloni in salted water until they are about half-cooked. Remove to an oiled baking sheet to cool. Stuff with the filling.

In a saucepan, combine the butter and flour and cook for a couple minutes. Add the milk and whisk until it starts to thicken. Whisk in the wine, blue cheese and remaining nutmeg. Season with salt. Spoon a little onto the bottom of a flat baking dish and line up the stuffed cannelloni in the dish. Top with the remaining sauce and make sure they are covered. You can grate some additional parmesan over the top if you wish.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until the top starts to brown. Let cool a few minutes before serving.

 

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