Here's the original recipe:
Here's my version:
1 lb Box of pasta, cooked al dente
2 T Butter
2 T Flour
1 C Milk (I use whole milk as this is what we have in the house)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 lb Deli American cheese
1-7 OZ Can of tuna
1/3 C Unseasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 t Garlic powder
1T melted butter
Heat the butter over a medium low heat in a large pot. (Why a large pot? So you can mix everything in it and not have to wash a bowl too.) Stir in flour. Add milk slowly and stir until there are no lumps. Use a whisk if you like and pretend you're Julia Child. Add salt and pepper to taste. Boil until the sauce thickens a tiny bit. (Congrats. You just made a white sauce, the classic kitchen staple before Campbells' Mad Men told us we could cook with their soup.)
Preheat oven to 400. Take the pot off the heat. Add the cheese. Melt and stir. Add the tuna, separating with a fork, and stir so it's distributed evenly. Stir in the pasta. Put it all in a casserole dish. Mix breadcrumbs with garlic powder and then with melted butter. Sprinkle over tuna/pasta mixture. Bake for 15 minutes or until breadcrumbs are brown and tuna/pasta mixture is heated thru.
Here's what you get:
My family thought it was good. Kind of like mac and cheese with tuna, which I suppose it is. I served it with a crudite plate and overpriced organic strawberries. Everyone liked it for dinner but the leftovers didn't fair so well. The re-heating made it a bit dry. The pooch didn't mind and loved it as a topping on his usual dinner.
Just for fun here's the picture of how Cheese Tuna Casserole is supposed to be served:
Apparently you're supposed to leave the tuna unmixed and pop it out of the can in the center of the pasta. Then garnish it with dried parsley. They're really trying to elevate this dish to a gourmet meal. But this is after the war. Things were looking up. War rations were a thing of the past as was the economic uncertainty of the Great Depression. Perhaps radishes cut to look like roses was all it took to feel good about life again.
Here's the cover of the magazine. (Never heard of American Home Magazine? Check it out here and in my post here.) It's just darling and really captures the idealism of the 1950's which was just nine months away when this issue hit newsstands.
These kids look appropriately bundled for the kind of March we've been having. I hope it's beginning to feel spring-like where you live. The sun is out today but I still need a jacket...sigh...