Tuna Noodle Casserole

This was a childhood meal my mom made pretty regularly.  I haven't had it for a long time, then one day, I just had to have some now. But what to do about that soup thing?

I admit it.  I'm prejudiced. I have some hate in my heart for that gelatinous, stinky can of cream of whatever soup.  Is it really that hard to make your own??
Trust me, not hard at all.  And the difference is so, so worth it.

1/4 cup butter +extra to butter casserole dish
1 8 ounce package uncooked medium egg noodles or pasta  (I like bowties best)
1/2 medium onion, chopped fine
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
3 TBS chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk (I prefer whole)
1 12 ounce can tuna, drained & flaked
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/8 cup grated real parmesan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Butter a medium casserole dish.

Cook pasta al dente according to directions on package, drain.

Melt 1TBS butter in a skilled over medium heat. Stir onion, celery and parsley;  cook until tender.

Melt 4 TBS butter in a medium saucepan, and whisk in flour until smooth.  Gradually whisk in milk and continue cooking 5 minutes, until sauce is thickened and smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Add tuna, celery & onion mixture and pasta.  Transfer to prepared baking dish.

Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan and sprinkle over top of casserole.

Bake 25 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned.

Note: You can really cheese this one up by adding 1 cup of shredded cheddar.  You can also add 1 cup of thawed frozen peas if you like.

I'm partial to pure, creamy, milky sauce with that simple parsley/celery goodness. I also love big chunks of tuna so I go for the fancy white albacore packed in water and take care to not mash it up too much.  Use the best milk you can get in this one - it makes a difference.

Pure comfort : )