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About Me

Phoenix, Arizona, United States
The most important thing in my life is my family. I love my dear husband and 4 wonderful children (ages 11 through 18). I am a stay-at-home mom (my dream job!). Some of my favorite things to do include cooking (and eating!), photography, reading, piano, flute, watching my favorite TV shows, swimming, traveling, and most recently...using the rip stick with my kids. I would love to attend culinary school someday & fit my love of photography in with that somehow. My dream vacation is Italy - something I was recently blessed to experience! I'd love to return and see more of that beautiful and DELICIOUS country! My days are usually full of running kids to and from activities - scouts, sports, music and church. Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe, but I absolutely LOVE my crazy life and the people I am lucky enough to share it with!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Italian Tuna Casserole (from RACHAEL RAY EXPRESS LANE MEALS)

Tuna casserole was a classic back in the day when I was a kid. I'm bringing it back-Mediterranean style!


1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach
1 pound medium or large shell pasta or other short-cut pasta with ridges
1 tablespoon EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil), once around the pan
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 medium onion, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine, a couple of glugs
1 cup chicken stock (eyeball about 1/4 of a quart-size box-the rest can go right in the fridge)
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste
1 teaspoon hot sauce (eyeball it)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Black pepper
2 6-ounce cans white tuna in water, drained, or 3 4-ounce cans Italian tuna in oil, drained
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese, 3 very generous handfuls
A handful of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Place the spinach on a plate and microwave it for 6 minutes on high to defrost it. Place it in a clean kitchen towel and wring it dry, then reserve.

While the spinach is defrosting, get a large pot of water on the stove for the pasta. Bring to a boil, then salt the water liberally and cook the shells to al dente.

While the pasta works, heat a deep, large skillet over medium heat. Add the EVOO, then melt the butter into the oil. When the butter melts, add the onions and garlic and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle the
flour around the pan and cook for a minute, then whisk in the wine-it will cook off and the mixture will thicken almost immediately. Whisk in the stock, then whisk in the milk and bring it to a bubble. Reduce the heat a bit. Season the sauce with the nutmeg, hot sauce, and mustard, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes to thicken, then add the spinach, separating it as you add it to the sauce.

Preheat the broiler.

Back to the sauce: add the tuna, flaking it as you go, then stir to combine. Heat the spinach and tuna through for a minute or so. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce. Transfer the tuna to a casserole dish and cover
it with the Parm or Romano. Place the casserole under the broiler for 2 minutes to brown the edges and the cheese. Top with the parsley and serve.

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