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Cheesy Tuna Doubles

2 packages (each 10 oz/284 g) fresh spinach, trimmed
1/3 cup butter
3 onions, chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups milk
2 tsp each dried basil and salt
1 tsp pepper
pinch hot pepper flakes
4 cups fusilli or penne
3 cans (each 7-1/2 oz/213 g) tuna, drained and broken into chunks
2 cups shredded old Cheddar cheese
2 tbsp lemon juice

3 cups fresh bread crumbs
1 cup shredded old Cheddar cheese
1 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Rinse spinach; shake off excess water. In stockpot, cover spinach
and cook, with just the water clinging to leaves, over medium-high
heat for about 5 minutes or until wilted. Drain well and squeeze
dry; chop coarsely and set aside.

In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; cook onions,
stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until softened. Whisk in
flour; cook, whisking, for 3 minutes, without browning. Gradually
whisk in milk until smooth; cook, whisking often, for about 15
minutes or until boiling and thickened. Reduce heat to low. Season
with basil, salt and pepper and hot pepper flakes. Meanwhile, in
large pot of boiling salted water, cook fusilli for 8 to 10 minutes
or until tender but firm. Drain and refresh under cold water;
drain again and return to pot. Add sauce, spinach and tuna, Cheddar
and lemon juice; toss together. Divide between two greased 8-inch
(2 L) square baking dishes, spreading evenly.

Topping: Toss together bread crumbs, Cheddar, butter and mustard;
sprinkle over casseroles. (Casseroles can be prepared to this
point, cooled in refrigerator, cover and stored for up to 1 day or
frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw completely. Bake for 25 to 30
minutes longer than specified, uncovering only during last 10

Loosely cover and bake in 350 F (180 C) oven for 20 minutes; uncover
and bake for 25 minutes longer or until heated through and golden.
Makes 8 servings.


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