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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lemon Tuna Pasta with Basil & Zucchini

Growing up, one of my favorite things my mom made for dinner was tuna casserole.  I would eat it until I was miserably stuffed.  It was just so creamy and good.  She even made buttery bread crumbs to put over top of it...mmmmm :) To this day, I still consider my mom's tuna casserole to be one of the best I've had.  It's simple and easy, but to me it will forever remind me of good times in my childhood.  Since I want to try and eat a bit more healthier, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to make a big dish of tuna casserole, even though I've been craving it for weeks, because I will eat it and eat it and eat it.  So what's a girl to do?  You crave the comforting, heavy foods of your childhood but you also want to fit into those jeans tomorrow morning.  I think I may have found my solution...this dish.  It's got all the comforting agents of pasta without all the heavy creamy cheesy buttery goodness of a casserole.  Did I say goodness?  I meant heavy creamy cheesy buttery evilness that will stick with you for another month.  Don't think for a second that this isn't as good just because it's lighter and healthier.  It's got a nice light fresh flavor to it.  And don't forget, Tuna is rich in protein, low in fat and calories and is an excellent source of the essential omega-3 fatty acids which help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.  So see.. yummy AND good for you!

Oh.. and If you wanted to make this even more healthier, use whole wheat pasta.  I haven't found my love for it yet, but it is better for you then standard pasta.

Lemon Tuna Pasta with Basil & Zucchini
Adapted from 
1 lbs. penne pasta
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 lemon, zested & juiced
1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 6oz can of tuna packed in olive oil, do not drain
1 cup sliced zucchini (I cut them into rounds, then sliced the rounds into three strips)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Prepare pasta according to package directions.  Drain and put into a large bowl.

In a skillet, quickly saute the zucchini, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the zucchini to the bowl with the pasta in it.  In the same skillet, add the olive oil and the garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Pour over the pasta.  Add the lemon zest and juice, tuna with the olive oil, and basil to the pasta.  Toss to combine.  (If the pasta is too dry, you can add a bit more olive oil.)  Season with salt and pepper.  Enjoy!

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