In college, my friend Steph would make this dish that would last her a while, taste delicious and was easy and cheap to put together in large quantities. We’ll call it Steph’s Tuna Pasta Thing.
Last week, I was craving the Steph Tuna Pasta Thing and she was kind enough to remind me of all the ingredients and steps she would take to come to the perfect go-to meal. I took advantage of this recipe to see how much local farmer’s market food I could stick in it and I must say, I did pretty well. I added some crimini mushrooms, two types of summer zucchinis and tricolor pasta – all picked up at the Columbia farmer’s market on 114th St and Broadway on Sunday. To that, I added some Miracle Whip Light instead of mayo as well as celery to give it some crunch. I also added one shallot that I picked up at the Westside Market grocery store.
With all their powers combined, I ended up with something that looks kind of Frankenstein-ish but tastes delicious. Lunch for this week is Steph’s Tuna Pasta Thing… Nadia Style. Also, my version of the recipe ends up being about 7 Weight Watchers points per cup, which when you combine with a simple vegetable soup (recipe to come) ends up being a really hearty meal.
Below is my rendition of Steph’s recipe, but if you want her original recipe, then scroll down below mine.
Steph’s Tuna Pasta Thing a la Nadia
- 12 oz pasta (any type, but I like short pasta more like bow ties, maracaroni elbows, etc)
- 12 oz tuna canned in water
- 2 small zucchinis
- 5 crimini mushrooms
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 shallot
- 3 hard boiled eggs
- 2 tblspns olive oil
- 1/2 cup Miracle Whip Light
- 2 Herb Ox sodium free chicken seasoning packets
1. Dice shallots, zucchini, celery, mushrooms, and hard boiled eggs.
2. Sautee shallots, zucchini and mushrooms in olive oil with one Herb Ox packet as seasoning. Leave celery and eggs aside. I tend to put the shallot in first for a little bit, then the zucchini and finally add the mushrooms since onions and zucchinis take a little longer to cook.
3. Prepare pasta plain by leaving in boiling water until cooked.
4. Put cooked pasta, shallots, zucchini and mushrooms in a mixing bowl and stir.
5. Add canned tuna and add some of the water it comes in to the mix. This allows the pasta to absorb the tuna flavor.
6. Add Miracle Whip and second Herb Ox packet. Stir.
7. Add eggs and celery to the mix and done! You now have a delicious meal in a tupperware. The best thing about this recipe – you can eat it hot or cold (personally, I’ve been enjoying it as a tuna pasta salad).
As promised, here is Steph’s original recipe (as told to me by Steph):
Steph’s Tuna Pasta Thing – Original Recipe
- 1-2 cans tuna (any type you like – the less chunky ones are better for mixing with the pasta, though)
- Salt, pepper
- Garlic powder
- Complete Seasoning (Badia, Goya, etc)
- 2-3 eggs
- Macaroni elbows pasta
- Start boiling the water for the pasta and eggs first as those take the longest.
- Use a medium sized pot, add 3 pinches of salt/olive oil and let the water boil.
- Once water is boiling, add the elbows and lower the heat a little. Let boil for 8 – 12 minutes.
- While that’s boiling, set another small pot for the eggs. THere are different ways to boil eggs, but it’s pretty basic. I pop them in before the water even starts boiling and let it sit for 7 minutes after I see it boiling. Other people only put the eggs in after it starts boiling. Preference really.
- Start mixing the tuna while those are on the stove. Open 1 can first and see if you need more later.
- Drain half of the water in the tuna. LEAVE SOME OF THE WATER. It’s important for flavoring and consistency.
- Put the water and tuna in a big mixing bowl.
- Mix it in with mayonnaise like you would make regular tuna. Add a little bit more mayo than you normally would until it’s more liquidy than you’re used to.
- Add the Complete Seasoning, a pinch of Garlic powder, salt and pepper to flavor. Play with it a bit until you get the right flavor.
- Once the pasta and eggs are ready, drain the pasta, peal the eggs and let them cool for 3 minutes.
- Cut the eggs into 1/8ths. I like salt, so I add salt to the eggs at this point.
- Pour the tuna into the large bowl where the seasoned tuna is and mix. See if you have enough tuna… by that I mean that it seems to at least touch all of the pasta. If there’s too much pasta, mix more tuna in another smaller bowl and add it in.
- Once it’s all mixed, add the eggs on top and you’re all set.