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October 16, 2013

Pat's Kitchen: A noodle casserole to love

Casserole recipes, baked in a casserole dish such as the old favorite, glass pyrex, or the new “chef” dishes sold online, are hot and creamy — and usually have cheese.

They can be main courses or sides, and are always welcome at a potluck gathering. To me, it is a way to share a piece of yourself as they make any dinner table a bit more colorful and interesting.

Casseroles are favorites because there are so many concoctions and variations to any one recipe that you can have a little culinary fun. Many casserole recipes can be prepared the night before or the morning of, kept refrigerated, and put in the oven to bake when you get home in the evening.

Gourmet, maybe not; comfortable, delicious, and classic — absolutely!

This recipe comes from my very best friend of 39 years. She developed it herself, very often not using a recipe for a lot of her cooking. It took us a while to sit down and put it all in recipe form for this column.

April is amazing to me, as I am a cook who needs a recipe to follow. (Her scalloped potatoes are another of her “throw it together” fantastic dishes). Besides being a really good cook and baker (desserts another specialty of hers), she just celebrated 35 years as a valued nurse and employee at the Milford Regional Medical Center in Milford, MA.

I suggest that the first time you make this, use this basic recipe so you can truly appreciate the flavors (no fishy taste here). Next time feel free to put in your favorite ad-in’s like peas, onions, ham, etc.., personalizing it to your family’s tastes.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Prepare a 13-x-9-x-2-inch baking pan; butter or coat with cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

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