I will never for all of my life understand the no cheese with seafood rule. Do you? Do you understand it?
I'm assuming it's like white pants after Labor Day, if paired with black on top and bottom we can get away with it. Right? I think yes.
So! Here's a laugh. I had in mind that I'd start making some things for the blog that are similar to things that Beck likes to eat. Because she's part of my life and I cook for her a ton and this is a blog about life. It made sense. Beck adores peas. Beck adores noodles. Beck adores tuna.
Beck hated this.
But not because it was bad. It wasn't! It's delicious and you will love it. I think that we're just still on a foods-need-to-be-separate train, or at least that's what I'm telling myself. The grownups liked this, so we're going with it. The flavors are so familiar but a little jazzed up with fontina cheese and garlic parsley crumbs on top. I want to top my life with garlic parsley crumbs.
For the filling of the dish you'll need egg noodles, butter, flour, white wine, milk, grated Fontina cheese, frozen peas, canned tuna, Old Bay seasoning, and hot sauce.
First, bring the noodles to a boil and cook them to one minute before al dente. Save some of the cooking water for the sauce to thin it out before you bake the dish. Then, make the breadcrumb topping - we'll set it aside while we make the rest of the meal. Gather up some panko breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, salt, and butter.
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat with the panko and the salt.
Stir the crumbs together until they're sizzly and slightly browned, then turn the heat OFF and add the garlic and parsley.
Stir the crumbs together, and wonder....could I eat this as cereal in the morning? It's fine with me, btw. The heat leftover from the pan will cook the garlic and parsley slightly while still leaving lots of flavor (since the crumbs will cook again in the oven).
When the crumbs are ready, preheat a large skillet to medium-high heat for the noodles - a dish that can go in the oven is ideal, but if you don't have one you can always transfer the noodles to a baking dish right before you stick it in the oven. To the hot skillet, add the butter and flour. Mix them together for 2 minutes until they become golden and almost like a paste, then very slowly stream in the wine, whisking as you go.
When the wine is smoothly into the butter/flour mixture, stir for one minute until the wine has reduced, then pour in the milk slowly. Keep whisking to gently mix the milk into the sauce. Add the hot sauce and Old Bay. When the milk bubbles and thickens, add the cooked noodles, peas, cheese, and tuna, drained but still in large chunks.
Stir the noodles into the sauce and taste - add lots of salt and pepper! I wait to add salt until the end because of the cheese and the tuna, but you'll need at least a little bit. Splash in a little bit of the pasta cooking water so the sauce coats the noodles but isn't soupy. When the noodles taste great, turn the heat off the skillet and sprinkle the toasted breadcrumbs over the top.
To serve, I bake this then broil quickly, 350F for 10 minutes, then broil for 2 minutes, maybe less. If you make this in advance, just reheat it (from frozen or in the fridge for a few days) covered at 350 until it's hot and bubbly, then remove the lid or foil to brown the top under the broiler.
I really love this. It's so comforting, so familiar, but with a few little twists (wine and breadcrumbs and fontina, aka the adult woman starter pack) that make it taste fresh and new. Try it soon!
Easy/Cheesy Tuna Noodle Bake
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- 12 ounces wide egg noodles
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay or other seafood seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco or other hot sauce
- 1 cup grated Fontina cheese
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 2 cans regular size tuna, drained
- For the breadcrumbs, heat a skillet over medium-high heat with the butter, panko, and salt. Stir to combine until the breadcrumbs are lightly golden, then turn the heat off the skillet. Add the garlic and parsley and stir a few more times, then set aside until ready to use.
- For the tuna noodles, cook the pasta to al dente and reserve a cup or so of the cooking water right before draining. Then, preheat a large ovenproof skillet to medium-high heat and the oven to 350F.
- When the skillet is hot, add the butter and the flour. Stir to form a paste, then slowly pour in the wine, whisking as you go. Pour in the milk in the same way, very slowly, whisking as you go so the milk incorporates with the flour/wine mixture. Add the seafood seasoning and the hot sauce. When the sauce is bubbly and thick, gently stir in the noodles, tuna, cheese, and peas. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper to your preference, then turn off the heat and sprinkle the garlic breadcrumbs over the entire skillet.
- Bake the dish at 350F for 10 minutes, then broil for 1-2 minutes to brown the top of the dish.