Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Spaghetti With Tuna

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Spaghetti with tuna
Spaghetti with tuna

Peter cannot stand canned tuna.  He loves raw tuna or tuna that has been seared, but canned tuna is one thing that will drive him right out of the house from the smell alone.  My love of tuna fish sandwiches is something I indulge when he is not around or when I can eat outside and not bother him with it.

Quick and easy ingredients
Quick and easy ingredients

Based on his strong feelings on the subject I was shocked when Peter was willing to try spaghetti con il tonno or spaghetti with tuna.  Guess what!  He liked it!  A lot.  Peter always amazes me with his willingness to give just about anything a shot, even when it contains one of the very few ingredients I can say he truly dislikes.  I know I am biased, but he rocks. :)  

There is something magical about how the tomato sauce and heating up the tuna makes it blend and melt into a very different and richly flavored dish without being at all fishy or canned tasting.  If you wrinkled your nose when you saw the title of this dish, or think you hate canned tuna, or think tuna as a part of spaghetti is too far out there - give this recipe just one chance.  I know you will be very pleasantly surprised by how satisfying this quick, easy and budget friendly meal can be.

Spaghetti with Tuna
Because there are so few ingredients in this dish, each one counts. Use tuna in olive oil, the best canned tomatoes, and fresh herbs. It will make all the difference.
  • 8 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 - 6 oz. can tuna packed in olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup, divided fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup, divided fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pot cheese
  • 1 - 28 oz. can tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 Tbs olive oil, drained from the tuna
  • a pinch red pepper flakes

  1. Get a large pot of water started for cooking your spaghetti. In a second pot over a medium flame add the tablespoon of olive oil from the tuna, garlic, and red pepper flakes and heat through. This will only take a minute and make sure the garlic does not brown.
  2. Add the tomatoes, half of the chopped parsley and half of the chopped basil to the oil and garlic. Bring up to a simmer and keep it there for about 15 minutes.
  3. Salt your boiling water for the spaghetti and toss it in, cooking just until it is al dente. The spaghetti will finish the last bit of cooking in the sauce itself so be sure to take it out of the water while it still has bite to it. Drain and set aside.
  4. Drain any remaining oil from the tuna then using a fork to flake it, breaking up any large pieces. Add the tuna to the sauce and let that simmer together for about 5 minutes.  Taste and add in a pinch of salt if needed.  Now add the cheese (ricotta is fine if you don't have pot cheese),  fresh herbs and the spaghetti and combine thoroughly, letting it bubble very gently just until the pasta  is fully cooked.  This will only take another 2 - 3 minutes at most.
  5. Top with a grating of your favorite Parmesan and serve piping hot. Enjoy!
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: 30Yield: 6 servings