California Central Coast Recipes

Quick Spaghetti with Tuna from the Pantry

Here’s a real easy recipe for when you have run out of cooking ideas, but want something more substantial than junk food or cereal. This is a household favorite. You make it with ingredients you probably always have on hand in your pantry. It’s really mellow and always satisfies your hunger –and it’s pretty healthy too!

The secret to this pasta is the "trito" of sweet onion slightly caramelized, fresh Italian parsley and a mild domestic "Parmesan style" cheese. It really perks up the otherwise bland canned tuna.

For a finicky-kid-friendly version, you can omit the onion and parsley and still have a delicious dish much more healthy than that out of the box "macaroni" product which shall remain nameless on this site. ©2018, Quick Spaghetti with Tuna from the Pantry
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
re-calculate ingredients for:


4 Tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large white onion , thinly sliced
2 cans 6.5 ounce tuna in olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (mild domestic type) , grated
1 cup Italian parsley , chopped
1 pound spaghetti

1-1/2 cups Optional fresh canned or sun dried tomatoes,, chopped

Preparation Directions.

1 In a large saucepan or stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion until soft, translucent and slightly caramelized (about 10 min.)

2 Start your pasta pan with water and bring to boil. Add a tablespoon or so of salt and add pasta. Cook until al dente (about 9 min.)

3 While the spaghetti is cooking, mash the tuna with a fork in the pot containing the cooked white onion.

4 When the spaghetti is done, drain, saving some of the cooking water -set aside, and pour the drained pasta into the pot with the tuna mixture. Toss well.

5 Add the parsley and toss. If the tomato is desired, add it at this time and toss. Add the Parmesan cheese, toss and serve.

6 If the mixture is too dry, add a little of the reserved water.

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

Wine suggestion: A light red wine or a Riesling will go well with this.

A tip from Sue!

Mark perishable ingredients

When ever you bring home a brand new spice, oil, vinegar, flour, sugar or other perishable ingredient, mark the bottle/container with the day’s date with a felt tip pen. Most "permanent markers" will write on just about any container.

That way if you don’t use it very much, but it’s been opened, you know how fresh it is. For an important meal don’t “submarine yourself” by using past expiration ingredients that have long lost their fresh taste and flavor.