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Pasta With Tuna, Spinach, and Hot Pepper

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“The original recipe came from the San Francisco Chronicle. The original recipe calls for arugula (which I love) but it's hard to find sometimes, so I switched to fresh spinach. If you can find an Italian tonno in olive oil (Bumble Bee has one in the gold can which I can easily find), then it's worth the extra money to use. However, I have used tuna in water when it was all I had in the pantry. Just drain the water and add a little olive oil to the can, since this tuna is a bit drier than the Italian version. Let it marinate for about an hour, then drain it and use. Canned tuna has never tasted so good!!! I love this recipe for a quick dinner that I can throw together out of the pantry in less than 30 minutes, and DH was surprised how good it was when he first tasted it. This is a good base recipe to add extra goodies (sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, artichokes, black olives, capers, etc.). I look forward to reading your comments with your add ins :)”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and boil until al dente.
  2. While pasta cooks, heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-low heat. Add the garlic and hot pepper flakes and cook until garlic is fragrant and sizzling. NOTE: start with the 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, then work up from there with your taste.
  3. Add tuna and shred it into fine flakes with a spoon in your sauce. Season with salt and lemon juice, if desired. Lower the heat and keep warm while waiting for the pasta to cook.
  4. Just before the pasta is ready, set aside 1 cup of the pasta water. Drain pasta and return it to the warm pot set over moderate heat.
  5. Depending on the size of your pot and skillet: add the spinach and the tuna mixture to the pasta in the pasta pot, or add the drained pasta to the skillet with the tuna mixture and add the spinach.
  6. Toss all of this together with tongs, moistening with some of the reserved pasta water. The spinach will wilt in the heat of the pasta. Divide among warm bowls and serve immediately.
  7. Top with some parmesan cheese (if desired) and enjoy!

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