One of the greatest kitchen skills my Mother taught me was the skill of substituting ingredients in recipes. I did not realize until sometime in my 20's that not everyone knows how to do this. I know several wonderfully talented home cooks (and some professionals too) who cannot extrapolate beyond the printed recipe in front of them. That's not a criticism, merely an observation.
The ability to look at a recipe and match up the ingredients in it with ingredients in the pantry that are similar but not the exact items is a learned skill. This recipe is a perfect example. The final dish is simple, with few but specific types of ingredients that are quickly prepared and easily modified into numerous recipes all containing the elements of: cream, starch, vegetable, and protein.
For this recdipe, I used rotini pasta, light cream cheese with grated Parmesan, frozen peas, and Hormel bacon pieces. For stove top tuna casserole, I use elbow macaroni, light cream cheese with shredded cheddar/monterrey jack mix, a large can of tuna, and either peas or frozen broccoli that I've chopped up smaller to heat through faster. But as long as you have something creamy, a pasta or rice, and a colorful vegetable, you can make a fast, easy, and tasty meal..