This dish is one of my favorite pasta dish to make because it is super easy, quick and really good, perfect for busy days when you barely have time to cook. It’s a spin-off of pizza Margherita, which is so called because of the 3 main and only toppings/ingredients: basil, tomatoes and mozarella which reflects the color of the Italian flag. Margherita is a 19th century Italian Queen to whom this special pizza was made for and named after.
I added tuna in this dish because husband wants it, he said it’s a bit bland without any meat in it. A can of tuna is the fastest and most convenient addition; sometimes I put chicken tenders but that takes a little longer and it still needs to defrost. Spiced sausages are also a good way to go like chorizo de Bilbao or any Italian sausage.
This is one of my no-recipe recipe but as I have said several times in past posts, I did measure for the sake of sharing but you may tweak as you like.
MY TUNA PASTA MARGHERITA
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti pasta (you may use any pasta)
1 can (185 g) tuna flakes (hot and spicy)
1 red onion, minced
1 cup diced or stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, reserve a few leaves for garnish
1/2 cup cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried ground oregano
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 small fresh tomato, chopped for garnishing
Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Season well with salt about 1-2 fistful. When the water starts boiling, add pasta and cook al dente (meaning with a bite; firm) To test, take a strand of spaghetti and bite it, you should see a little white dot in the middle, it takes about 9 minutes for spaghetti, more or less.
Meanwhile, in a heated pan, saute onion and red chili flakes over medium heat, add tuna flakes, cook for 1 minute then add canned dice/stewed tomatoes. Add a cup of water or if you have white wine or chicken stock, that’s even better. Boil and simmer (boil/cook over low heat) for 5-8 minutes. Add the grated cheese, stir and cook until cheese is melted. Season with ground black pepper.
Add the cooked spaghetti noodles and fresh basil. Mix until pasta is coated with sauce and dries a little, about 3 minutes.
Transfer immediately to a platter and sprinkle grated mozzarella on top. Garnish with fresh basil and fresh chopped fresh tomatoes.
Serve with garlic bread
Tuna Pasta Margherita
- 8 OUNCES UNCOOKED SPAGHETTI PASTA YOU MAY USE ANY PASTA
- 1 CAN 185 G TUNA FLAKES (HOT AND SPICY)
- 1 RED ONION MINCED
- 1 CUP DICED OR STEWED TOMATOES
- 1/2 CUP CHOPPED FRESH BASIL RESERVE A FEW LEAVES FOR GARNISH
- 1/2 CUP CHEESE
- 1/4 CUP OLIVE OIL
- 1 TEASPOON SALT
- 1/2 TEASPOON BLACK PEPPER
- 1 TEASPOON RED CHILI PEPPER FLAKES
- 1/4 TEASPOON DRIED GROUND OREGANO
- 1/2 CUP GRATED MOZZARELLA CHEESE
- 1 SMALL FRESH TOMATO CHOPPED FOR GARNISHING
- BRING A POT OF WATER TO A BOIL OVER HIGH HEAT. SEASON WELL WITH SALT ABOUT 1-2 FISTFUL. WHEN THE WATER STARTS BOILING, ADD PASTA AND COOK AL DENTE (MEANING WITH A BITE; FIRM) TO TEST, TAKE A STRAND OF SPAGHETTI AND BITE IT, YOU SHOULD SEE A LITTLE WHITE DOT IN THE MIDDLE, IT TAKES ABOUT 9 MINUTES FOR SPAGHETTI, MORE OR LESS.
- MEANWHILE, IN A HEATED PAN, SAUTE ONION AND RED CHILI FLAKES OVER MEDIUM HEAT, ADD TUNA FLAKES, COOK FOR 1 MINUTE THEN ADD CANNED DICE/STEWED TOMATOES. ADD A CUP OF WATER OR IF YOU HAVE WHITE WINE OR CHICKEN STOCK, THAT’S EVEN BETTER. BOIL AND SIMMER (BOIL/COOK OVER LOW HEAT) FOR 5-8 MINUTES. ADD THE GRATED CHEESE, STIR AND COOK UNTIL CHEESE IS MELTED. SEASON WITH GROUND BLACK PEPPER.
- ADD THE COOKED SPAGHETTI NOODLES AND FRESH BASIL. MIX UNTIL PASTA IS COATED WITH SAUCE AND DRIES A LITTLE, ABOUT 3 MINUTES.
- TRANSFER IMMEDIATELY TO A PLATTER AND SPRINKLE GRATED MOZZARELLA ON TOP. GARNISH WITH FRESH BASIL AND FRESH CHOPPED FRESH TOMATOES.
- SERVE WITH GARLIC BREAD