Tolkien once said that "cellar door" is a beautiful phrase. I'm no linguistics expert, but "cellar door" feels drab to me. Like a grey sky. I much prefer the less famous, but more fun phrase "tuna noodle." I mean, say it out loud: Tuna! Noodle! TunaNoodle! TUNANOODLE! Now that has got to be the best phrase in the English language.
Tuna Noodle Casserole has been a fixture on North American dinner tables since the 50's. It's inexpensive, easy to make, and pure comfort food -- no wonder it's a classic. I like mine extra-creamy, and I mix in some corn to provide a touch of sweetness along with a dash of hot sauce to give it some bite. The result is loyal to the classic retro recipe, but with a little something extra: it's the sassy Jessica to old school tuna casserole's plain Elizabeth Wakefield. Give it a try, and you'll find that "tuna noodle" is as fun to eat as it is to say.
2 cups dry macaroni
1 can tuna, drained
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup frozen corn
1/3 cup green onion, chopped
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup milk
1.5 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mayo (low fat ok)
a few squirts hot sauce (I like Frank's)
salt & pepper
1. Cook macaroni to al dente in salted water and drain. Combine in a large bowl with tuna, celery, corn, green onion, parsley, and garlic.
2. In a small saucepan, whisk together soup, hot sauce, and milk over medium heat. When it begins to bubble, stir in 1 cup of the cheese and cook until the cheese melts completely. Remove from heat and stir in the mayo. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
3. Combine sauce and macaroni mixture, and pour into a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Finish under the broiler to brown the cheese, and serve immediately with fresh ground pepper on top!
Serves 4 generously