I was scrolling through my Twitter feed the other day when something caught my eye. Sure, it’s not difficult to get my attention—especially when it comes to food. But this something was special. It was different. It was new and sparkly and all that is good in the world.
It was a sushirito.
I knew I had to get my hands on this treasure the moment I spied it on my feed. I immediately made plans with a coworker to eat lunch at Guernsey Park the very next day. Hey, I never said I was known for being patient.
Boy, was I taken aback when I bit into it. This sushirito is something truly spectacular. A log of sushi rice, enveloped in nori, and stuffed full of tuna, avocado, cucumber and flamin’ hot cheetos.
Yeah, you read that right. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
And you know what? It worked. It all worked so perfectly together. Whether it was the spicy crunch, or the sticky softness, or the meaty taste—-it was a beautiful bite every single time. Don’t even get me started on the spicy mayonnaise to dip it into, either.
Feeling inspired by my phenomenal lunch, I set out to make my own tuna dish. I, of course, wasn’t using sushi-grade tuna. There is always a stockpile of tinned tuna in my cupboard and even though it tastes completely different from the fresh stuff, it still serves a purpose. In this case, that purpose is to make a casserole.
This casserole is also different. And special. And everything that is good in the world. At least I think it is. It curves away from your normal tuna noodle casserole quite a bit, which is what I like most about it. It’s chock-full of veggies like tomatoes, mushrooms and bell peppers and then tossed with pasta, black eyed peas and Jarlsberg cheese.
If you can’t find Jarlsberg, don’t worry. Just sub in some shredded Swiss or baby Swiss cheese and you’ll be good to go. Jarlsberg has a real tame Swiss flavor, but mingles well with the tuna and marjoram and veggies.
I’m not quite sure what makes this dish “Mediterranean” but just go with it, why don’t you? I heaped up a bowl full of this casserole and devoured it within seconds. The trick is—-well, there’s no trick actually. It’s just good. Really good.
Mediterranean Tuna Noodle Casserole
A hearty tuna noodle casserole with a spicy flair.
- 1 TBS. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 12 oz. baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 TBS. dried cilantro
- 1 TBS. dried marjoram
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 lb. Jarlsberg or Swiss cheese, shredded
- 1 (16 oz) can black-eyed peas, drained
- 2 (5 oz) cans tuna, drained
- 1 lb. whole wheat fusilli or macaroni pasta
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute garlic and onion until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, tomatoes, and bell peppers; cook and stir 3-5 minutes or until mushrooms begin to brown.
- Add cilantro, marjoram and red pepper flakes. Toss pasta with cheese, black eyed peas, tuna and veggie mixture. Pour into a greased baking dish and bake, covered with foil, for 30-40 minutes or until cooked through.
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion and saute until translucent, about 2 minutes.
Add mushrooms, tomatoes and bell peppers. Cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until mushrooms begin to brown.
Add cilantro, marjoram and red pepper flakes and stir to mix well.
Toss pasta with cheese, black eyed peas, tuna and veggie mixture. Pour into a greased baking dish and bake, covered, for 30-40 minutes or until heated through.