Where Is...?

25 September 2010

Tuna Pasta-Don't be hatin' on my pasta!!

I have been discussing eating on the cheap, a lot. Growing up we didn't have a lot, my parents raised 5 of us on one income. My mother, while a great baker, was not a tremendous cook. She could make all the staples of  a good Italian household as well as hearty American comfort foods, but things were pretty average. We didn't eat out much, if we did, it was someplace good. I didn't have McDonald's fries until I was in high school.
One of the things my mom made was Tuna Pasta. This is a meal that you can make a crowd and spend almost under $5. Now, I know there are those of you who just turned your nose up and said "eww, tuna pasta?" Ahh, bull. I am sick of people putting this particular dish down before they even try it. Let's just figure, tuna in red sauce is a magical thing. It's way freakin' cheap (especially if there is a 99cent store close by), filling and leftovers can be eaten cold! There's reason enough! And, being Catholic, it's good for Fish on Friday.
I am just going to post it... you make it and then let me know.

Tuna Pasta

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
2 tbsp red onion, fine diced (optional)
1 can tuna, albacore, in water, drained (or if budget is super tight, use the chunk light tuna in oil)
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 4oz can tomato paste
1 can of water each (12oz)
salt and pepper
crushed red pepper (optional)
8 oz dry macaroni (small pasta shapes: elbow, bowtie, ditalini,etc)

Place olive oil in saucepan and heat. Add garlic, onion and Italian seasoning to hot oil, stirring, do not allow garlic to burn, but just become soft.  Add tuna and mix well, infusing the tuna with the dried herbs. Add in the tomato sauce and water, heat to a soft simmer and allow to cook. Add salt and pepper. Taste. Add more seasoning if needed, or more salt and pepper. Let cook for 15 minutes, thicken a little and let flavors meld. The sauce isn't supposed to be a thick rich sauce. It is supposed to be light. Cook pasta according to package instructions and your taste, I like mine al dente. (a little chewier).
Toss with sauce and serve with a little side salad and Parmesan cheese! If you want it a little heartier, add another can of tuna. You can also stretch this by adding a can of peas or garbanzo beans... or omit the tuna altogether and add the veggies, of course then it is a vegetarian/vegan meal.
Eating is an adventure. Don't be scared to try new things, shop in ethnic markets, or buy cheap.

1 comment:

  1. When I was growing up we often had tuna pasta in a red sauce. My dad loved it. However, when I am tired and want an easy comfort food...I make spaghetti with tuna with garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and maybe some capers thrown in. Ready in a minute and ohhh so good. I know you are not supposed to put cheese on any Italian fish dish but we love grated cheese on this.