I know that my tastes in food are pretty low league. I'd like to think that my palate is starting to grow and expand, but sometimes that just isn't the case. And Tuesday night's dinner just proves that. I'd had my eye on this Mediterranean Tuna-Noodle Casserole from Everyday Food. So I put it on the menu for this week and picked up all the ingredients that I needed on my shopping trip. I'd never done anything with artichoke hearts before, but I wasn't too worried about that. Until I opened the can that is. I just couldn't do it. They smelled atrocious to me, and I just couldn't get past it. I've had recipes before where I thought a particular ingredient was pretty yucky, but everything came together fine in the end. This time I just couldn't work my way through it and after a minute or two I started thinking about what I could substitute them with. And I found my answer in the freezer- peas. Nice, bright green peas. The color and shape offered a nice contrast to the red pepper strips. Normally I would type out the original recipe verbatim and then note my changes below, but seeing as I will pretty much stick to this version from here on out, I'm posting it with my alterations. It is also a half version of the Everyday Food recipe, as it was their "Freeze It" feature, making enough for a casserole for now and casserole for later.
Adapted from Everyday Food Recipe; Serves 4
2.5 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for baking dish
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 oz. wide egg noodles
1 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced lengthwise
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup 1% milk
2 6oz. cans tuna packed in olive oil, drained
1-1.5 cups frozen peas
2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil 8-inch square (or other shallow 2-quart) baking dish. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles until 2 minutes short of al dente, according to package instructions; drain, and return to pot.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat oil over medium. Add bell pepper; season with salt and pepper. Cook until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Gradually add milks, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a simmer.
- Remove from heat; add mixture to noodles in pot, along with tuna, peas, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper, and toss. Transfer to prepared baking dish, and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake until golden and bubbling, about 20 minutes.