I have tried several recipes over recent months trying to upcycle that comfort food standard, the old tuna casserole. The February issue of Better Homes and Gardens had a recipe for using gnocchi with tuna. Wow, I have made it twice - easy and creamy and yummy. The gnocchi are like soft little comforting pasta pillows as you bite in! I added my own twist to the recipe by adding fresh spinach and some grated Romano cheese. I also added a crunchy panko crust on top. I think you could mix in your choice of vegetables - maybe roasted red peppers, olives, or even the traditional frozen baby peas.
Be sure to use good canned tuna in olive oil for this recipe. I love this Italian Tonno tuna - a bit more expensive but worth it for the flavor. I used one can of the Tonno and one can of white albacore tuna in olive oil from Trader Joe's which provided a rich balance of flavors.
Gnocchi comes in packages in the pasta section of the grocery store. At better stores you can find it in flavors - I really liked the cheese flavor that I tried. This tomato was pretty good, too.
Gnocchi with Tuna, Mushrooms, and SpinachIngredients
1 16 package of gnocchi (shelf stable, not fresh)
1 package fresh sliced mushrooms (I cut them into bite sized pieces)
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup half and half
2 cans tuna in olive oil, crumbled into pieces
1/3 cup grated Romano/parmesan cheese
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped roughly
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1/2 cup cheese (your choice, I used shredded parmesan)
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1 teaspoon olive oil or melted butter
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cook the gnocchi in boiled water according to directions. Drain and set aside.
3. Add the garlic and red pepper and stir for a minute, then add the half and half. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken. Add 1/3 cup grated romano/parmesan cheese and blend. Turn off the heat.
6. Remove the pan from the oven. Top with 1/2 cup cheese. Mix the panko, 1/4 cup grated Romano, and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a bowl. Sprinkle on top.
7. Bake for another 5 - 7 minutes or until heated through and the topping is golden.
Serves 4 - 6