Tuna-noodle may well be the great American casserole. Cheap, nourishing and easy to make in bulk, it's a staple of school lunchroom cooks and moms with smaller but no-less voracious crowds to feed at home. Prepared with canned fish, condensed soup and potato chips, it is, on the other hand, not exactly what one would call fine dining. And yet, as a concept ("seafood and pasta gratin with mushroom sauce"), it sounds almost restaurant elegant. And so it ends up in this fully-tweaked version, complete with fresh poached salmon, white wine and imported pasta. Serve it at a dinner party (but don’t refer to it as a "casserole") and your guests will be dazzled.
- 3 thick boneless skinless salmon fillets (about 1 1/4 pounds total)
- One 8-ounce bottle clam juice
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 3/4 cup (about) whole milk
3/4 pound imported semolina pasta, preferably penne
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1/2 pound coarsely chopped cremini or white button mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cups frounceen tiny peas, thawed, drained
- One 4-ounce jar chopped pimientos, drained
- 1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus additional for serving
Arrange the salmon in a shallow baking dish just large enough to fit the fish. Pour the clam juice and wine over the salmon. Cover with foil and bake until the fish is just opaque in the center, about 20 minutes. Uncover and cool the salmon in the dish. Transfer the salmon to a cutting board; reserve the cooking liquid. Coarsely flake the salmon, breaking up no more than necessary to remove any bones. Strain the cooking liquid into a 4-cup measuring cup; add enough milk to the cooking liquid to equal 3 1/2 cups total.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain, rinse and drain again.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a heavy medium saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Cover and cook until juices form, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the mushrooms and cook 3 minutes, stirring often. Gradually whisk in the milk mixture. Whisk in 3/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat. Partially cover the pan and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature, then stir in the mustard.
Salmon, pasta and mushroom sauce can be made 1 hour ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a deep 4-quart baking dish. Toss the pasta, mushroom sauce, peas and pimientos in a large bowl. Season generously with pepper. Gently stir in the salmon. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Combine the breadcrumbs and cheese in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the pasta. Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons butter into small pieces and sprinkle over the pasta. Bake until the top is crisp and golden and the pasta is hot, about 40 minutes (do not overbake). Cool 5 minutes. Serve hot, passing remaining cheese separately.
Recipe created exclusively for Cooking.com by Michael McLaughlin.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
595 calories; 23g total fat; 92mg cholesterol; 547mg sodium; 60g carbohydrates; 5g fiber; 36g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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