The Best Colorful Tomato Tuna Supper
Casseroles of Another Color
From my birth until the day I left home to go to work and college, I never knew what a casserole was, besides some type of cooking dish mentioned on sit-coms on TV!
I remembered that my father repeatedly announced that he did not want meat or any other type of food in his house cut into tiny pieces and put into a casserole. He felt that this was a waste of good food, especially if it was meat - even hamburger.
Thus, I never saw a casserole or a one-pot meal cooked until I became an adult and started preparing food on my own. In fact, we never made a casserole in home economics classes in middle or high school, either.
We did make pizza and hot chocolate for a meal, but none of us thought that to be a good combination!
Try these crushed on top of one of your casseroles for a fun, additional flavor. They are really snappy on that tuna noodle casserole.
What Was a Casserole?
Apparently, the casserole was a big thing in the 1950s and I know it was still pretty important to home cooks in the 1960s and 1970s, according to the Betty Crocker Cook.
Kids at school used to talk about tuna noodle casserole their moms made at home, finished off with broken potato chips on the top. That sounded looked too much fun! I guess I didn't believe them, because I thought it was a joke. (Everyone knows you eat potato chips with catsup, not with noodles!)
Recalling those days, I remember that we also never had cream soups, chip dip, or sour cream; and all mushrooms "were poison." Once I began to cook after high school, I found that all of these things can be combined into a casserole meal.
Please enjoy the recipe below. I developed it from a last-minute dish a fellow church member made in a hurry one day for her kids' lunch several years ago. She used only a pound of elbow macaroni, a can of plain diced tomatoes, and a can of tuna, all cooked on the stove top in one pan.
Pastas to Use in the Recipe Below
Colorful Tomato Tuna Supper
This dish serves 4 to 6 people.
Adjust the ingredients to your liking. You may prefer more tomatoes or more tuna in your casserole, for example.
You can also add an optional 1/2 Cup sliced mushrooms, sauteed with the onions, as described in the Instructions below. This recipe uses 2% milk instead of cream soup, but you can use the soup in place of the milk; e.g. cream of mushroom or cream of chicken. Remember that the soup will add extra salt and calories.
Please rate this dish made of tuna and tomatoes.
Interesting Facts: The Fish Tomato
A gene from a white flouder was combined with a tomato in the 1990s to produce the fish tomato (US Department of Agriculture Permit 91-079-01 at http://www.biotech-info.net/flounder_gene.html), a tomato that tastes a bit like fish, too [Animal and Plant Health Inspection US Department of Agriculture (1991)]. Decades ago, someone added beef cattle genes to a tomato, producing a tomato with a cheeseburger taste. Newpapers reported on the event, but the idea didn't catch on.
Colorful Tomato Tuna Supper
- 1 Number 10 Can (14 to 16 oz) diced spicy Tomatoes - Mexican, Italian, or Chile-Ready are available. Or, peel and chop a large tomato, place in a bowl, and add salt and pepper to taste. I also like cilantro in mine. Set the chopped tomato aside.
- 1 Pound of your favorite pasta Noodles - like elbows, penne, or bow ties. Try a spinach-based or tomato-based pasta if you like. I like the green pasta with the red diced tomatoes above. If you use red and green, you can even use this for Christmastime meals.
- Olive Oil
- 1 Large Sweet Onion, peeled and chopped coarse.
- 2 Scallions or Green Onions, thinly sliced. Use all the white part and part of the green tails of the green onions.
- 1, 5 oz. can of Tuna, drained; or 3/4 Cup cooked diced chicken, turkey, or pork roast.
- 1 Cup shredded Colby-Jack Cheese
- 1 Cup 2% Milk
- Lightly Salted Dried Jalapeno or Red Sweet Pepper Crisps for garnish. This is a new item made by Fresh Gourmet and available at Marc's (99 cents a package, they are salad toppings as well). You can also use potato chips or fried onion rings like Frenches or the store brands..
- Cooking spray a 2-Quart cooking dish.
- Cook noodles with salted water with a little olive oil added to prevent clumping, drain, and pour into a large bowl.
- In a frying pan or sauté pan medium heat, add 1 Tbsp of oil and heat. Then add sweet onions and stir while frying until tender. Add green onion and cook until just slightly tender. Remove from heat.
- Stir onions into the noodles.
- Add tuna, cheese, milk, and tomatoes and stir carefully so as not to destroy noodles.
- Pour the mixed casserole ingredients into the dish and place a lid or foil over the top.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes or until set firm.
- Remove lid or foil, return to oven uncovered and bake until top is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and garnish top with dried pepper crisps and serve.
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© 2011 Patty Inglish