If you grew up around these parts, chances are you’ve been served Tuna Noodle Casserole for dinner. I had a strange affinity for it as a kid, but like so many things nostalgic, expectations are rarely fulfilled upon revisitation (cotton candy and asbestos spring to mind). This grown-up tuna pasta, however, is incredibly rich and satisfying in addition to being far and away healthier than its Betty Crocker counterpart.
Buy the best canned tuna you can find, ideally imported and oil-packed. Roast your cherry tomatoes an hour or even a day in advance and then put this well-rounded meal together in about 25 minutes.
Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Tuna, Roasted Tomatoes, and Olives:
1 pint cherry tomatoes
8 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
1 small red onion, small dice
3/4 C. dry white wine
2 cans (10 oz. total) good-quality tuna in olive oil
About 24 Gaeta olives, pitted (or whatever type of olive you like)
A few handfuls chopped fresh Italian parsley
S & P
First, toss the tomatoes with a little olive oil and salt and roast them in a 325 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until very soft. Set aside.
Prepare your pot for the pasta, seasoning the water with a few tablespoons of salt and placing it over high heat to bring to a boil.
Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. Saute the onion, seasoning it with salt and pepper, for about 5 minutes or until very soft. Add the wine and increase the heat to high. Let this mixture boil until the wine has mostly evaporated, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the roasted tomatoes and all of their liquid and reduce the heat to low until ready to assemble.
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions or until al dente. Drain into a colander.
In the meantime, place the olives, tuna (with its oil) and chopped parsley into a large bowl. If the tuna is in very large pieces, break it up slightly with your fingers.
Lastly, add the pasta and tomato/onion mixture to the bowl with the other ingredients. Toss together to mix and place on a large platter or divide between bowls.
This recipe will make 2 generous dinner servings with leftovers.