Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I Know It Sounds Weird, But TRY IT!

There are some meals that have always been in my life. I can't remember the first time I tried them, I'm not quite sure when I learned to cook them, but there they are: my culinary constants. One of these constants is Tuna Spaghetti. It's a quick family dinner that my mom's been making forever. As an adult, I've been making this meal for my husband for years and he loves it.

Tuna Spaghetti. Sounds gross, right? And if you ask Greta, she'd agree with you. She hates Tuna Spaghetti. Despite this, we've allowed her to stay in the family.

This is one of those recipes that has never been written down, that changes ever so slightly ever time we make it, and that really has to be tasted to appreciate. If you like pasta, bacon, and Parmesan cheese, you should check this out.

serves 4 to 6 depending on how hungry you are

1 pound of spaghetti
Bacon (about 6 slices or so...however many you can fit in a single layer of a good sized fry pan like this one)
Crushed garlic--2 cloves (more or less if you'd like)
2 cans of water-packed tuna (7 oz. each--do NOT drain the water)
Dried oregano
Pepper to taste
2 T butter or margarine
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  1. Fry bacon in a good sized skillet over medium heat. While the bacon is frying up, put a big pot of salted water on the stove and let it heat up to boiling.
  2. When bacon is crispy, drain on paper towels. Crumble (or chop if you don't want to get your hands all greasy) and set aside. Pour off all but about 1 Tablespoon of the bacon drippings in the skillet.
  3. When water boils, cook pasta according to directions on the box.
  4. Meanwhile, return the skillet used to cook the bacon (with the 1 T of reserved fat) to the burner. Reduce the heat to low since the pan will probably still be a little hot. Add garlic and let it cook for a few seconds (don't let the garlic burn). Add the undrained cans of tuna to the pan. Scrape up the bacon-y residue on the bottom of the pan and stir to combine the tuna and garlic. Add a few good pinches of dried oregano (as much or as little as you like) and a few grinds of fresh cracked pepper.
  5. Using tongs, grab a now empty tuna can and dip it in the boiling pasta water to fill it up. Pour the starchy pasta water into the skillet with the tuna. Increase heat to medium and stir to combine. You'll want to reduce the liquid down a bit in the pan. (Note: how far you reduce it is a matter of personal preference. I like my Tuna Spaghetti less watery than my mom cooks it. Try it a few ways to see what you like.) Adjust oregano and pepper, if necessary.
  6. When spaghetti is done, drain and toss with 2 Tablespoons of butter. Add spaghetti to the skillet and toss with the tuna mixture.
  7. Add crumbled bacon into the spaghetti and tuna mixture. Serve pasta immediately, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
Sure to serve Tuna Spaghetti with lots of crunchy Italian or French bread and a salad.

If you try this one, let me know how it turns out for you.


phairhead said...

maybe i'll have to test thing out

Lydia said...

Try it, you'll like it!

Greta said...

This is NOT one of Greta's favorite dishes - I am in the minority though (thank goodness for Aidan)! In fact, this is usually served when I am not home.