Tuna noodle casserole

16 ounces, weight Uncooked Egg Noodles
5 Tablespoons Butter, Divided Use
1 whole Medium Red Onion, Diced
2 stalks Celery, Diced
1 whole Medium Red Bell Pepper, Diced
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
4 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
2 cups Whole Milk
2 cups Chicken Stock
1 teaspoon Fresh Thyme, Chopped Fine
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
3 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
20 ounces, weight Premium Albacore Tuna Canned In Water, Drained
10 ounces, weight Frozen Sweet Peas, Thawed
Salt And Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 4.8 (or larger) quart casserole dish with cooking spray or butter.
Cook egg noodles according to package directions. Drain well and place in a large mixing bowl.
While noodles are cooking, in a medium skillet, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Saute onions, celery, red bell pepper and garlic until tender. Season lightly with salt and pepper while sauteing. Remove from heat and add vegetables to noodles in the mixing bowl.
In same skillet, melt 4 Tablespoons of butter. Whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes over medium/low heat, whisking frequently. Slowly add milk and chicken stock, alternately, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Add thyme, paprika, dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and additional salt and pepper to taste. Once thickened, remove from heat, stir in grated cheese and stir until melted.
Add drained tuna, peas and sauce to the mixing bowl and gently combine all ingredients until evenly combined then put it into the prepared casserole dish.
Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly.


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