This simple dish is a quick, family meal

Spaghetti with Tuna Sauce is a recipe that the Italian side of my family has been eating for years, and is a standard during our Feast of Seven Fishes, a cherished Christmas tradition.

The recipe is reminiscent of a leaner times when my grandparents and great grandparents made do with what they had in the pantry and when who was around the table for Sunday Supper was far more important that what you were eating.  What mattered was that the family was together, around the table laughing and reconnecting during the weekly ritual.  The family may have not been rich in the material sense but they found wealth in life’s simple pleasures.

In many ways our family has come a long way from those leaner times, and this year, my son will be going to Cleveland for his first Christmas Eve. I can’t wait for him to experience our family traditions—even if he isn’t quite ready to remember them. We’ve been so fortunate this year: Baby Melt is thriving and healthy, we have the security of a comfortable roof over our heads, gainful employment and access to a bounty of fresh food.

With all these blessings,  I can’t help but think about the many children who don’t have all the opportunities that Baby Melt has. We aren’t the only ones with hungry kids on our mind. Romano’s Macaroni Grill has teamed up with food bloggers to donate one million meals to children who don’t know where their next meal will come from.  For each blog post that mentions a favorite Italian recipe, Macaroni Grill is committed donating $50 to the Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry initiative, which will connect each needy child to up to 500 meals.

Do you want to help too? You can go into your local Macaroni Grill and donate $2 which will allow you to get $5 off your next meal. You can also use the hashtag #macgrillgive on Instagram and Twitter or share an artist inspired image from the Macaroni Grill’s Mac Grill Give Facebook Gallery and they’ll also help connect a kid with one meal.


 SPAGHETTI AL TONNO (Spaghetti with Tuna Sauce)


1 pound spaghetti

1 (26-ounce) jar Simple Tomato Sauce, or other purchased marinara sauce

2 (6-ounces each) cans albacore tuna packed in oil, drained

1 white onion, diced

1 tablespoon drained capers

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Grated Parmesan Cheese, optional



Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, sauté the onions in olive oil in a large skillet until translucent. Then, combine the tomato sauce, tuna, capers, and lemon zest with onion. Using a fork, break the tuna into chunks. Simmer to blend the flavors, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to coat. Toss the pasta with enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Stir in the parsley and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese, if desired, and serve.


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  1. LR Bergeron on Monday 24, 2012

    Wow! What a great article. I was expecting a simple recipe but found a worthy cause on top of that. Thank you. LR Bergeron

  2. BusyWorkingMama on Monday 24, 2012

    Looks delicious and flavorful!

  3. Zest Foodie on Monday 24, 2012

    Thanks for checking it out!