Low-fat mushroom pasta and sour cream casserole
I adapted this dead-easy and fairly quick recipe from a great cookbook of retro recipes called Square Meals. In that book they call it He-man's Tuna Noodle Casserole but I adapted it for my vegetarian hubby. Nigella Lawson also has a recipe for a mushroom pasta casserole but hers is insanely rich.
one box noodles -- I use wholewheat penne, but you can also use egg noodles or even macaroni
one can condensed, low-fat cream of mushroom soup
1 cup skim or low-fat milk
3/4-1 cup no-fat sour cream
dash of dry sherry, or to taste
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
one clove finely chopped garlic (optional)
about 1/2 cup combined finely chopped green pepper and celery
1/4 cup sliced pimento or red pepper
1 cup (or more to taste) sliced fresh mushrooms such as crimini, button or
shitake and/OR one mushroom stock cube (Star brand is best if you can find it)
1/2 cup frozen or fresh peas optional -- I usually add these if I don't have fresh mushrooms
salt and pepper to taste
about 1/4 cup (or to taste of grated parmasan cheese)
1/4 cup breadcrumbs (I prefer Panko) or you can use crumbled Ritz crackers
cayenne pepper (optional)
parsley for garnish
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Boil noodles. While they are cooking, sautee chopped onions, garlic, peppers, celery until translucent. Then add sliced mushrooms, soup and milk and stir well. Once that mixture is hot, add sour cream, sherry (and peas if you like) and continue stirring until mixed and hot. Mixture should be a little bit soupy but not thin. Do not boil. Remove from heat.
Place noodles in large casserole dish and stir in about one tbsp of butter. Mix well. Pour sour cream mixture over noodles and shake dish to ensure that sauce gets to the bottom. Spread breadcrumbs and cheese on top, sprinkle with cayenne, and bake covered for about 25-30 minutes, or less if you have a hot oven. Uncover and broil for a couple of minutes until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven, let sit a few minutes and garnish with parsley.
Serve with steamed cauliflower and/or peas. If you choose to add a can of drained tuna to the sauce, add more milk or sour cream.