Casserole has easy tasks for cooks of all ages

FAST & FRESH

January 26, 1994|By Rita Calvert | Rita Calvert,Contributing Writer

In the Fast & Fresh column in Wednesday's A La Carte section, it was unclear which dish the carrots, raisins, mayonnaise and lemon juice were for. They are the ingredients ** for a carrot-raisin salad to accompany the tuna casserole.

The Sun regrets the error.

That old standby, tuna noodle casserole, is one of those comfy convenient dishes that's remained a family classic. The original version could use some calorie trimming, however, so we've come up with a delicious new variation that's so simple, even the kids can help. Tasks for the little folk are as simple as stirring the low-cal sauce ingredients together or thawing the peas by placing in a strainer and rinsing under cool water.

You may want to grate the two large carrots yourself in a food processor, but the team can certainly stir in the cup of raisins, 1/3 cup light mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons lemon juice.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

Dessert will take no coaxing, so offer the family's favorite ice cream or frozen yogurt treat.

Items you should have as staples are: 8 ounces rotini (spiral) pasta, chicken or vegetable broth, cornstarch, evaporated skim milk, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, 6 1/2 ounces water-packed tuna, carrots, raisins, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise.

Your 10-item-or-less shopping list: 10-ounce package frozen peas, 4-ounce can sliced olives, ice cream or frozen yogurt treats.

Updated tuna noodle casserole

Serves 4

8 ounces rotini pasta, cooked and drained

1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 12-ounce can evaporated skim milk

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 6 1/2 -ounce can water-packed tuna, drained

1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed by rinsing under cold water

1/2 cup pitted sliced black olives (optional)

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

First, cook pasta according to package directions if not using leftover noodles. In a medium-size microwavable bowl, whisk together broth, cornstarch, milk, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce. Microwave, uncovered on 100 percent power for 4 to 6 minutes, whisking every 2 minutes. Sauce should have thickened.

Grease a 2-quart casserole and add pasta, thickened sauce, tuna and peas. Stir well to mix. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until casserole is thoroughly hot. Top with olive slices, if using. Serve immediately.

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