Fridays are tough at our house. Sometimes I think just making it through the week is worthy of a medal. You feel me? So I almost always default to comfort food. I don’t know about you guys, but as much as I love clean eating, I’m not cut out for a kale and goji berry salad after a long week. It’s not necessarily my thing. So it’s a tuna noodle casserole kinda night- but not the one you’re thinking of. Stay with me people- this is easy AND delicious.
Repeat after me… Campbell’s Cream of whatever is exactly that. Cream of WHATEVER. Check out the ingredients and tell me what wasn’t made in a lab. But here’s the thing. You can make your own cream of whatever-you-want in no time. I didn’t even make it separately from tonight’s tuna noodle, and in fact, any time I need cream of whatever-I-want, I make it as part of the recipe.
So are you ready to do this thing? Don’t laugh at my serious inability to measure things. My cooking method is almost entirely playing around with food until it tastes how I want it. And you can cook that way too- in fact I’m betting you’ll like cooking so much more if this you start rolling like this. This dish literally takes 15 minutes to make, so don’t get started too early or your dinner will be cold. Here we go:
First up, ingredients:
- Some (like half a pound) organic fusilli. I like organic brown rice fusilli- it cooks soooo fast, and is a lot lighter than wheat-based noodles. They’re also gluten free.
- 1 small onion (red, yellow, vidalia, it’s up to you)- chopped however you like. My kiddos are cool with big hunks of it, so less chopping for me!
- Some organic unsalted butter (like 2 tablespoons). You can use olive oil here, but you’re better off with butter- just don’t make it a habit, kay?
- Organic garlic. I love mine fresh from the farm- but this kind has to stay peeled and in the fridge. Don’t do the minced stuff here- just don’t. Pull out a garlic press or smash it with a knife- use as much as you like. I used 4 cloves.
- 1 pint organic heavy cream (no- you won’t use it all, but we’re going to play around with it, so just keep it handy)
- Some organic flour, for thickening
- White wine– your favorite type. Or chicken/vegetable stock if wine isn’t your thing.
- Shredded parmesan cheese (I like Trader Joe’s brand, but you can sub out any type of cheese you want here- again with the organic and non-processed status in mind)
- Organic frozen peas (you can totally use fresh if you want)
- 1 can tuna– I love the Trader Joe’s wild-caught gulf coast tuna
- black pepper, thyme (or another herb you like), and lemon juice
- Start off by boiling your pasta. If you’re using brown rice pasta, be ready- it will be done in 5 minutes. Seriously.
- While that’s going, melt your butter (or if you’re doing EVOO, warm it in the pan) over medium-high heat. Add in your onion and the herbs you want to use. I’m growing thyme on my back porch, and I think it adds AMAZING flavor here- so that’s my herb of choice.
- Once your onions are transparent (like 2-3 minutes, maybe 5 if you’re closer to medium heat than high), add in your garlic. I love garlic, but I like it fresh- not the kind you buy at the store, but the kind that comes fresh out of the dirt on a farm. The farm-fresh garlic is milder and has a more subtle, sweet taste, so you’ll need more. I needed 4-5 large cloves. But if you buy at the store, you’ll probably want to use less.
- Saute your garlic for 2-3 minutes, then make a circle 2-3 times around the pan with your wine. It comes out to be about 1/4 a cup- but use more for more flavor if you like, and reduce it down.
- Once you have a really fragrant mixture of onions, garlic, herbs, and wine, you can add your heavy cream. I added about 2/3 a cup by estimation- shoot to have about 1/2 inch of liquid in your pan.
- Add flour by the tablespoon to thicken the mixture to your liking, stirring with a wooden spoon as you go.
- Add the peas here- as many as you want. Cook until soft.
- Add in your parmesan cheese. I throw in a handful (sometimes two!), and stir some more, just till combined.
- Toss in your tuna, stir, and add more herbs, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Voila!
And there you have it. Comfort food that’s clean to boot. Serve it with a glass of wine and a green salad and you’re golden. And wanna know a secret? You can swap out the peas for other veggies like carrots and green beans, the tuna for chicken, and the thyme for Herbs de Provence and literally have the best chicken pot pie (sans the pie part) you’ve ever tasted. Not sure what you’d call that, but it is truly delicious. Bon apetit! xoxo~ LWH