Friday, January 20, 2012

Wagon Wheel Tuna Casserole

As I have said before, noodles are a toddler favorite.  This casserole we had today has shifted the wagon wheel pasta into the new favorite roll.  Move over rigatoni, there's a new sherriff in town!
It's been a long lousy week for me.  I haven't felt well, and it was an almost herculean effort to fix the last lunch meal before the weekend.  Besides not feeling great, my husband has been out of town due to road closures, so I am in charge of all the farm chores.  I am really glad that my work week is almost over.
This is an easy "eat it now, and have it for later" meal.  It makes a ton of pasta, and freezes well.  Even though I feel like something a coyote et and crapped over a cliff, I pulled it off. 

I don't use a lot of canned cream soups, or any canned soups for that matter.  I can make a superior product in about the same amount of time it takes to heat up canned soup, and can control salt and sugar etc...I do however, always have chicken and beef stock on hand.  Either homemade, or in the box. I can make a creamed soup zip quick with stock, some cornstarch or butter and flour, buttermilk and a few herbs.  I use buttermilk because it is lowfat, and has a little tang to it.  I also hate to waste food, so I'm always looking for ways to use up buttermilk before it goes bad.

Wagon Wheel Tuna Casserole
1 box wagon wheel shaped pasta cooked and drained
2 C chicken stock
1 C buttermilk
2 heaping T cornstarch
1/2 tsp basil
1 T minced garlic
2 cans/pints diced tomatoes
2 tins tuna and their juice
1 can Italian flat green beans and their juice
2 C Velveeta cubed
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning

In the pan you just cooked the pasta in, mix the chicken stock, buttermilk, basil, garlic and cornstarch, and whisk to combine.  Add in the tuna and liquid, tomatoes, Old Bay and green beans.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer stirring often, and add cheese cubes.  When cheese is melted, add the cooked pasta and toss to coat.
This fed three hungry toddlers a 1 C serving each, plus Joel and I a 1 1/2 C serving.  There is enough to fill a 2 quart casserole, and it will go in the freezer for later on.  To reheat, place in a 325 F oven until bubbly, about 1 hour. 

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