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Playing Tuna Casserole


  • 1 box whole wheat penne
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk or half-and-half
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus some for topping
  • One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained
  • 2 boxes frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed in a kitchen towel to remove excess moisture
  • Two 6-ounce cans tuna in water, drained


Serves: 6


Preheat oven to 400 °F.

Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring up to a boil to cook the pasta. Once at a boil, add some salt and the pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain pasta thoroughly, return it to the pot and reserve.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 turn of the pan of EVOO and the butter. Cook garlic and onion until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and cook for another minute then whisk in chicken stock and half-and-half, season with salt, ground black pepper and nutmeg. Bring it up to a bubble and thicken.

Turn off the heat, fold in the parsley, grated Parmigiano Reggiano, cannellini beans, spinach, tuna, and penne. Pour the mixture into a 13x9" baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Place in the oven to brown the topping, about 10 minutes.

Serve with your favorite simple salad alongside.