Freeze Ahead Recipe: Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tuna Noodle Casserole
Serves 8
Butter, to grease pan
12 ounces wide egg noodles
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
1/3 cup minced shallots ( 2 large shallots)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons capers, drained
2 5-ounce cans chunk light tuna, drained
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup thinly-sliced kale or spinach
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley, to top (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Butter a 2 1/2- or 3-quart casserole dish and set aside.

Cook the pasta until al dente in a large pot of boiling water. Drain and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and shallots, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until shallots are translucent and mushrooms are beginning to soften.
Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 additional minute. Slowly pour in the wine, lower the heat to medium-low and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.

Add the flour to the pan and stir well to ensure all the mushrooms are coated. Increase the heat to high and slowly pour in the milk, bringing the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring to avoid sticking or clumping, until the milk begins to thicken and starts to look like more of a sauce, about 4 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, Parmesan cheese, capers, tuna, sour cream, kale (or spinach), thyme, salt and pepper. Pour the creamy mushrooms sauce into the bowl and stir to coat all ingredients. Transfer the mixture to prepared casserole dish and set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Sprinkle in the breadcrumbs and cook until fragrant and slightly toasty, 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle the crispy breadcrumbs over the top of the casserole and bake for 20 minutes, or until the top is lightly brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle chopped parsley on top. Serve hot. Cover and refrigerate the leftovers for up to 3 days. The casserole also freezes beautifully.

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