Tuna Noodle Casserole

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Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS

4 cups elbow macaroni – cooked al dente

2 cans white premium tuna – drained

1 cup frozen peas or other favorite vegetable, thawed

Sauce

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

5 tablespoons all purpose flour

5 green onions – finely chopped, including green tops

2 cups milk or half and half

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese – grated

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Salt and grated black pepper to taste

1-2 cups Panko bread crumbs

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Cook the elbow macaroni as instructed, drain and place in large mixing bowl. To the macaroni, add 2 cans of premium white tuna and peas. Set aside. To make the sauce, melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add the green onions and saute for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until the onions are softened. Add the flour and stir until thoroughly blended and continue to cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Slowly incorporate small amounts of milk to the flour mixture, whisking constantly to ensure that there are no lumps. Continue to stir the sauce until it becomes thickened – approximately 10 minutes. After sauce has thickened, add the grated cheddar cheese, paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Combine the sauce mixture with the macaroni, tuna and peas. Stir thoroughly and pour into a 2 quart casserole. In a small skillet, melt 2-3 tablespoons of butter and add the Panko bread crumbs. Saute lightly until the bread crumbs are coated with the butter. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top of the casserole. Bake in 350 degree F oven for approximately 30-35 minutes, until the bread crumbs are lightly browned and the casserole is bubbly hot.