Spaghetti with Tuna and Green Olives
Yields: about 8 – 10 servings Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 35 minutes
Omega 3 and protein rich tuna adds a nutritionally dense base for this spaghetti sauce that is balanced with a savory tang from green olives. A surprising combination that blends perfectly for a family friendly dinner!
2 tablespoons (plus 1 tablespoon drizzle at the end)
3 teaspoons freshly minced garlic
3 cups (or 1 Pomi carton) diced and peeled tomatoes
5 ounce can Wild Planet tuna, salted
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup sliced green olives
1 tablespoon green olive juice
1 teaspoon quality balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon pure cane sugar
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounces linguine noodles (gluten free if desired)
Parmesan cheese to garnish
1. Cook noodles according to directions and set aside.
2. Chop parsley and mince garlic.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and sauté garlic for a minute or so, careful not to let it burn.
4. Add the tomatoes, parsley, tuna, olives, olive juice, balsamic vinegar, basil, oregano, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook for about 15 minutes. Add an additional tablespoon of olive oil and stir in gently.
5. Remove sauce from heat and serve over warm noodles. Garnish with Parmesan cheese if desired and enjoy!
As I have mentioned before, I spent most of my childhood growing up in the Pacific Northwest. We had seafood A LOT! Honestly, I was not a fan of a lot of it, but over the years, my palate was refined and I grew to enjoy a lot of the seafood dishes my parents prepared.
However, there was one I always enjoyed and it was spaghetti with tuna and capers. My parents were inspired by a Seattle chef who created the recipe. Unfortunately, I don’t know who that chef was, but my memory of the flavors gave me the idea to try a variation with my own family. To my delight, it was a success.
I chose not to use capers because my husband is positively not a fan, and I think I recall one if not all three of the kids not liking them. So, I wasn’t going to start this recipe experimentation with one foot out the door. Everyone in our family enjoys green olives to some degree. I must admit, during my pregnancies, I could not get enough green olives and cheddar cheese. (I know, the sodium content is over the top with this combo – but it’s what the babies wanted!)
I did specify the brand of tomatoes because I really appreciate that they are not in a can. They are in a BPA free carton, contain no preservatives and you can even trace the source of the tomatoes right to the farm. Of course, you could always use your favorite brand of diced and peeled tomatoes.
You wouldn’t think this combination would be a hit, but there is something about the tuna and green olives that blend perfectly with the cooked tomatoes and seasonings. While tuna is high in the healthy fat department as well as a great source of protein, there is some concern over the mercury content. Some avoid it all together based on this concern alone. While I agree, I also feel every food has a concern that could be attached to it these days, whether it be pesticides, GMOs, antibiotics, hormones or high levels of contaminants in the soil. Hungry yet? Just kidding. But seriously, these aforementioned issues are a big deal to me. I don't take them lightly. And yet because I tend to take things so seriously, I forget the point of balance and the benefits of being informed. I want to enjoy life, and eating a variety of foods is part of that for me. Now, we do have tuna, and just like salmon and other heart-healthy fish, we have it in a rotation of a variety of other foods.
I usually steer clear of it at restaurants, yet I find that more and more sustainable options are becoming available as consumer awareness is growing. Wild Planet is one of those companies that has my trust right now. They catch the fish using sustainable methods and tend to catch the smaller fish that often have accumulated less mercury. Greenpeace even names Wild Planet as the number one brand of responsibly caught tuna. To me, these things matter and make all of the difference. My family can still enjoy the health benefits while minimizing the concerns over mercury and the environment.
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