Our take on the classic hits the high notes: creamy, cheesy, fresh, and crunchy. Resist digging into the casserole right out of the oven. Letting it stand for 10 minutes allows it to firm up to the perfect consistency.
1 (16-oz.) package ziti pasta
1 (8-oz.) package haricots verts (thin green beans), cut into 1-inch pieces
6 tablespoons butter, divided
2 medium leeks, thinly sliced
2 (4-oz.) packages fresh gourmet mushroom blend
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup organic vegetable broth
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (12-oz.) can solid white tuna in spring water, drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or parsley
1/4 cup crushed potato chips
1/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Garnish: sliced fresh chives
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, cook green beans in boiling salted water to cover 30 seconds to 1 minute or until crisp-tender; drain. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain.
Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks, and sauté 2 minutes; add mushrooms, and sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer leek mixture to a small bowl. Wipe skillet clean.
Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in skillet over medium heat; whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in cream and broth. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium-low; gradually whisk in Cheddar cheese and 4 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese until smooth. Stir in salt and pepper.
Stir cream mixture into pasta. Stir in tuna, next 2 ingredients, beans, and leek mixture; transfer to a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
Stir together potato chips, next 2 ingredients, and remaining 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese in a small bowl; sprinkle over pasta mixture.
Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
I do not like tuna casseroles!! My husband does not like them either, however, he will eat whatever I put in front of him. This was absolutely wonderful. He said, "This is nothing like my mother made".
Instead of either parsley or tarragon - I used both.. I used my favorite sharp cheddar - Canadian Cheddar. This is a comfort food - a company food - whatever you want or need it for - it was great!
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