5ouncescanned albacore white tuna, packed in water, more if desired
For the Topping:
1/2cupRitz crackers*, crushed
Cook the noodles just until al dente, according to package instructions.
Sauté the veggies: Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet. Add celery, onion, peas and garlic and saute for a few minutes. Remove vegetables from pan and set aside.
Make Sauce: Add remaining 3 tablespoons butter to the pan. Once melted and the flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk, stirring constantly until smooth. Bring mixture to a low simmer.
Stir constantly until thickened and bubbly, 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add salt, dill, lemon juice, parsley, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Taste sauce and season with additional salt, pepper, or lemon juice, to taste.
Combine: Remove from heat and stir in the pasta, vegetables and tuna. Pour mixture into a 9x13’’ or similar size baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.
Add topping: Crush ritz crackers and add melted butter. Sprinkle mixture over the casserole.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Tuna: Choose good quality canned solid white albacore tuna. It's may be a little more expensive but will make all the difference in taste.Pasta: I like the medium shell pasta because I like the size and how each shell can fill with creamy sauce. You could substitute egg noodles or another type of bite-size pasta.Cracker Topping: you could also use crushed potato chips, breadcrumbs, cornflakes or your favorite crackers.Make Ahead Instructions: Cook the noodles, sauté the vegetables, and make the sauce. Store everything separately until ready to assemble, and bake.Freezing Instructions: Undercook the noodles slightly. Assemble the dish in a freezer-safe container (I like to use a disposable aluminum pan) but don't top with crushed crackers. Allow to cool completely then cover tightly with and freezer for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Top with crushed crackers and cheese before baking. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.