April 23, 2012

Spaghetti with Spicy Tuna Marinara Sauce

Growing up I loved tuna melts. I thought they were one of the best foods on earth. To me there was nothing better than my mom's homemade tuna melts. As you can imagine we had a lot of canned tuna growing-up. Both of my parents worked very hard, but living in an expensive city and only having a high-school diploma made money very tight. Luckily for my mom I loved inexpensive food and my mother was a great cook. She could take something from a can and make into something spectacular. It was these early food experiences that made me into the cook that I am today. I learned quickly that just because you have only a handful of ingredients doesn't mean that you can't make something fantastic. My two kids have grown-up in very different circumstances. Both my husband and I have masters degrees and fresh food has always been in abundance. However, I am still my mother's daughter and I am frugal to the core. I love making complex expensive meals, but I leave them to the holidays and special occasions. My kids are growing up understanding that just because you can spend a lot of money on something doesn't mean you should. The same goes for the food we eat and serve. I love cooking from scratch, but I also understand and appreciate that canned food can be both convenient and nutritious when used correctly. Recently, the May issue of the Food Network Magazine had a recipe for Spaghetti with Spicy Tuna Marinara Sauce, which looked like a simple combination of fresh ingredients paired with canned tuna.

This recipe has 10 ingredients. It takes 30 minutes of total time, 25 minutes of which is active and makes 4 servings. I did have to make a  recipe modification due to a lack of available ingredients. Finding plum tomatoes around here can be hit or miss so I bought roma tomatoes instead. I had no problems finding any of the other ingredients at my local grocery store. After the pasta was added to the sauce I felt that it needed to be cooked down more than the recipe suggested. I allowed the pasta sauce to cook until the sauce completely coated the pasta. I followed the remainder of the recipe as written.

My two boys loved this recipe. I was pleased with how the tuna didn't end up tasting fishy even though it came from a can. The leftovers heated up great the next day and the flavor was even better. I appreciated that the recipe only took thirty minutes start to finish. Plus, with the main meat being canned tuna the total price for the recipe was very low, which always helps my family budget. Overall, a very easy pasta recipe combining both fresh and canned ingredients.

For the recipe go to Spaghetti with Spicy Tuna Marinara Sauce.
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