From my understanding, most tuna cassaroles start out with a Bechamel or white sauce, then some type of cream soup is added along with tuna and seasonings, combined with noodles, topped with bread crumbs or crushed potato chips and baked off in the oven. Mom made hers, a little "unorthodoxed" in a way, completely on the stove top, no topping, no baking! One pot, ready in minutes, and so comforting!
Try making this version of this "potluck pleaser", it's so simple! You can also leave the tuna out altogether for a great vegetarian version.
First thing is to get a large pot of boiling salted water going, and cook a pound of egg noodles, drain and return to thier pot.
Now on to making a Bechamel Sauce! This basic sauce takes about 5 minutes to make, and is then ready for the addition of flavors or enrichments.
In a sauce pan melt 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter over low heat. Blend in 6 tablespoons of flour, and cook slowly, stirring, until the butter and flour froth together for 2 minutes without coloring. This is now a white roux.
Remove roux from heat. As soon as roux has stopped bubbling, pour in 4 cups of milk, that's been heated to just below a boil, with a 1/4 teaspoon of salt added to it, all at once. Immediately beat vigorously with a whip to blend the liquid and roux, gathering in all the bits of roux from the inside edges of the pan.
Set saucepan over moderately high heat and stir with a whip until the sauce comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring.
Remove from heat and beat in salt & pepper to taste.
The finished sauce should coat the back of a spoon and leave a "line" when you draw your finger across the back of the spoon.
To the Bechamel, you add one can of cream of mushroom soup, stirring to incorporate the soup completely.