Tuna Noodles with Crushed Potato Chips

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I practically lived at my next door neighbor's house during the summer while growing up in Pembroke, Massachusetts. Kristen and I were best friends — Barbies, basketball, all-day bike rides, adventure hikes in the back woods and old gravel pit behind our houses. We were inseparable, second grade through fourth grade.

I especially loved eating dinner at her house. Her mom made the most unusual dinners — foreign and exciting compared to my Italian upbringing. At Kristen's house, I was introduced to Jello salads, meatloaf with ketchup, cinnamon-sugar doughnuts, birch beer and s'mores.

I remember belly laughing so hard at the kitchen table in their small-town, ranch-style house, for no other reason than being eight-years-old, barely being able to catch my breath, let alone eat. Anything could set us off on a soundless, red-faced, gasping for air, marathon. Except on tuna noodle nights.

Tuna noodle nights were serious business because they involved potato chips. And for an Italian girl like me, who grew up with red gravy, pasta, beans and the typical Italian-American menu, potato chips were like God; and tuna noodle nights were Heaven.

My family moved, and Kristen and I eventually lost touch, like childhood friends often do. But I think of her often, especially on tuna noodle nights.

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Servings: 2 large or 4 small (side dish)
Cooking Method: Roux, veloute
Allergy info: soy-free

Ingredients:
1/2 pound spaghetti or fettuccine
1 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, small dice (brunois)
2 stalks celery, small dice (brunois)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock, plus more for thinning the sauce
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 (5 oz) cans tuna, packed in olive oil
1 1/2 cups crushed potato chips
1/2 cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon celery salt and black pepper (or to taste)

Directions:

Prepare the spaghetti or fettuccine according to package directions.

As the pasta is cooking, melt butter and oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sweat onion and celery until soft, adjusting the heat to prevent browning. Add the garlic and stir to incorporate.

Immediately sprinkle flour over the onions and celery, mixing to create a loose paste (roux), and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the chicken stock to create a sauce (veloute). Turn the heat off and add the cream. Add additional chicken stock to thin the sauce to the desired consistency, if needed.

Add 1/2 cup of crushed potato chips and the tuna, including the oil and liquid from the can, and gently mix into the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Drain the pasta well, and add to the pan with the sauce. Using tongs, gently turn the pasta in the sauce until the tuna is flaked and the pasta is well coated in the sauce. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Top with crushed potato chips and fresh parsley.

Chef's Notes:
Place a serving portion of the tuna noodles in an oven-safe bowl, top with potato chips and place under the broiler to brown the chips. Top with fresh parsley.

Change the flavor profile by adding fresh thyme or rosemary to the roux.

Post by Dawn Viola : www.wickedgooddinner.blogspot.com

  • http://profile.typepad.com/cuteeverything Cuteeverything

    Loved hearing your memories, they sound just like mine! I’ve got to make that casserole! TY for sharing!