Tuna Casserole

Yes, I know--tuna casserole? Ick. But maybe not. This classic dish is included in this collection of recipes because when I was in college, I apartment-sat for a sister for two weeks, and my group of pals and I couldn't afford much more than tuna. We ate tuna casserole night after night, and the people who lived upstairs felt sorry for us. Every night when they got home from work and smelled tuna, they nodded and said, "yep, college kids." They remembered being our age and only having $5 in their pocket. Enjoy.

Serves 6

8 ounces egg noodles, medium*
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup finely chopped or grated onion
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cans tuna** (6 1/2 to 7 ounces each), drained and flaked
1 cup frozen peas or mixed vegetables (such as peas and carrots), cooked
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons bread crumbs
2 teaspoons tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook noodles in salted water; drain and set aside. Sauté onions and garlic in butter until onions are tender. Add flour; blend until smooth. Add milk and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Add tuna, vegetables, and salt and pepper to taste; stir in cooked noodles. Pour tuna noodle mixture into a 1 1/2-quart casserole. Mix crumbs and dried parsley with melted butter; sprinkle over casserole. Bake for 20 minutes, or until heated through.

*You can substitute rice for noodles for something different.
**When buying tuna, look for solid white Albacore tuna as opposed to chunk light. It has a sturdier texture and better flavor. I will cost more than chunk light, but it's well worth it.

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