Fast Family Meal: Tuna Ragu With Shells

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At gastrokid we’re always looking for ways to get some good lean protein into our meals, for both the good of the kids and the parents. Here’s a pasta sauce that uses canned tuna (Italian, ideally) in an otherwise standard marinara sauce. It’s just one little change that takes the pasta to another level of deliciousness and nutritiousness. We like to use shell pasta, for it’s obvious maritime thematic connection to the sauce, but we also like it because it traps the yummy sauce inside and make every bite both pleasantly chewy and unctuous.

1 pound shell pasta (large if you can find it)
1 large can peeled plum tomatoes, crushed
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 can tuna in olive oil, preferablly italian, but any will do
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
olive oil
salt
pepper

Boil salted water for pasta. Cook shells until al dente and drain.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat, add garlic cloves and cook until fragrant. Add plum tomatoes and simmer several minutes. Add canned tuna and stir it all up until the tuna has gotten all shreddy and combined. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until the the sauce is reduced by 1/3. Salt and pepper to taste.

Add shells to sauce pan and combine thoroughly. Do not serve with cheese to be super traditional. Do serve with cheese if your kids demand it and it will preserve the peace at the dinner table.
—Hugh

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One Response to Fast Family Meal: Tuna Ragu With Shells

  1. Kara says:

    My mother used to make this when I was a kid and I still love it. Also good with lima beans and peas tossed in there too.
    My little one won’t eat anything that might have once sat next to a tomato, but he does like tuna mixed in with this mac and cheese (I throw peas in there too).

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