Creamy Shells with Tuna and Spinach
This update to the old-fashioned tuna casserole is just as delicious as you remember: It gets a fresh taste from spinach and a fun shape from shells.
See note for how to simplify this recipe.
"Excellent - I subbed skim milk for the whole to reduce fat/calories and, as a result, had to simmer the sauce longer to get it to thicken up. But still a nice sauce. Also, if you don't like spicy, you might want to reduce the red pepper flakes."- sbjonas
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|3 tablespoonsextra-virgin olive oil|
|1 smallyellow onion; diced small|
|1/4 cupall-purpose flour; (spooned and leveled)|
|4 cupwhole milk|
|Salt and pepper|
|1 hamburger bun; torn into large pieces|
|1/4 cupParmesan; grated|
|1/2 teaspoonItalian seasoning|
|1/2 teaspoonred-pepper flakes|
|10 ouncesfrozen chopped spinach; thawed and excess liquid squeezed out|
|2 cans (6 oz each)light tuna in water; drained and flaked|
|6 ouncesjumbo pasta shells; (about 20), cooked according to package instructions|
Creamy Shells with Tuna and Spinach Preparation
1.Preheat oven to 375(F) degrees. In a medium pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly, and cook until slightly thickened and bubbling, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and let sauce cool slightly.
2.In a food processor, combine bun, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, and red-pepper flakes. Process until fine crumbs form. Transfer half the mixture to a large bowl and combine with spinach, tuna, and half the sauce; season with salt and pepper. Fill each shell with 2 heaping tablespoons spinach mixture and place in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with remaining sauce and breadcrumb mixture. Bake until sauce is bubbling and breadcrumbs are golden, about 20 minutes.
To simplify, replace the large shells with small shells and mix them in with the tuna and spinach mixture to make a quicker casserole.
Toss Together a Salad:
In a large bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon each red-wine vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Add 3/4 head iceberg lettuce, chopped, and 1 tomato, cut into wedges. Toss to combine.
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