These Tuna Stuffed Shells are classy enough to serve to company! Consider it a grown up and somewhat gourmet-fied take on the classic tuna casserole.
Tuna (or it’s more pricey cousin canned salmon) can be a frugal cook’s friend. Shelf stable, inexpensive and full of all those omega-3′s and things that we should be adding to our diet, it’s a great item to keep on your pantry shelf.
- 1lrg box of pasta shells
- 2 6oz cans of tuna in oil
- 1 C fresh bread crumbs
- 1/4 C chopped onion
- 2 eggs
- 2 TBS Parsley
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 TBS Butter
- 2 TBS Flour
- 1 1/2 C Milk
- 2-4 TBS Parmesan cheese
- grind of pepper
- dash of nutmeg
- Cook pasta until al-dente (note this means that it isn't completely soft but still has a bit of "hard' in the center)
- Place cooked pasta in a single layer on a piece of wax paper. If necessary "re-form" the shells into their shell shape.
- Combine tuna with it's oil, bread crumbs, onion, egg, parsely and lemon juice and mix well.
- Spoon tuna filling into the shells and place in a single layer on a greased 9X13 baking dish. (An ice tea spoon or baby spoon works well for this if you have one.)
- In a saucepan, melt butter, then add flour and stir for a few minutes until it starts to bubble a bit.
- Add milk all at once and then stir constantly till the flour/butter is completely dissolved in the milk.
- Add cheese and spices and cook until thickened.
- Pour sauce over prepared tuna shells & bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
- Use the more expensive canned salmon instead of tuna, or cook & flake 12 oz of your favorite fish, then add either 4 TBS or so of oil or mayo.
- Play with your pasta. Use manicotti shells, lasagna noodles (to make a roll up) or even make homemade ravioli!
- Don't have the time to make your own sauce? Start with a can of "cream of" soup, then add 1/2 C milk and the cheese and spices.
Note: If you are concerned about the mercury levels in tuna I recommend you read the United States Enviromental Protective Agency’s post on “What you need to know about mercury in fish & shellfish”–long story short, keep it to 6oz for Tuna in oil and 12 oz for light tuna in water a week and the average healthy adult is fine. If you are feeding young children, are pregnant or nursing you may want to skip it all together