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There are a number of types of tuna pasta dishes. These are dishes that contain the basic ingredients of tuna and pasta often mixed with vegetables and either a red or white sauce. All variations on the basic recipe provide a healthy meal rich in protein, carbohydrates, fish oils and other nutrients. Such is its healthiness that it provides the core of many Mediterranean diets.
A common pasta used for tuna pasta dishes is penne. Just about any type of pasta can be combined with tuna, however, as the shape is not as important as the blend of tastes. This means that spaghetti and lasagna dishes are also possible.
The basic tuna pasta dish includes pasta, tuna and olive oil. The pasta, once prepared in the usual manner, is complemented with chunks of tuna and herbs like basil and is marinated in olive oil. The whole lot is mixed together and either put into individual servings or served in a big communal bowl.
Tuna pasta dishes also come in prepackaged tins. These are foil packets that are opened and eaten, often without cooking. These are a variation on the olive oil formula and tend to combine the pasta and tuna with vegetables like chunks of carrot, broccoli, corn and pepper. These can be marinated in olive oil or in brine.
It’s possible to make a tuna pasta salad with olives, cheese, and tomato slices. This type of dish is advisable for those who are on a diet and want to stay healthy. These dishes tend to be eaten cold.
One of the most popular cooked variations of this dish is when tomato sauce is put into the frying pan or pasta dish alongside the olive oil, a slice of garlic and a bit of basil. Then the pasta and the tuna get mixed in the tomato sauce; this is often topped with cheeses such as Parmesan or grated cheddar. Tuna pasta bakes sometimes add a layer of potato chips under the cheese for more texture and flavor. It’s also common to make a kind of lasagna tuna pasta. Lasagna involves layers of rectangular pasta sheets alternating with layers of meat, red tomato sauce and a white sauce.
In Japan, it is also common to have chunks of tuna mixed with salmon in a white sauce atop a plate of spaghetti. While salmon goes best with a white sauce, it is also possible to use tuna as it is a white meat. There are other alternative sauces including traditional pasta sauces such as Bolognese or Neapolitan. More creative dishes can be created using curry sauces.
@Chmander - As long as you don't eat tuna fish every day, you should be just fine. Eat it in moderation, just like any other types of fish that are known to contain mercury.
Also, I would like to note that the last paragraph really brings up an interesting dish. I may not live in Japan, but why haven't I thought about making that?
Despite having a very high mercury content, tuna fish is definitely one of the more versatile foods. From pasta, to salad, to sandwiches, you can make more with it than you think.
It's a concern I've been having with tuna fish lately, but how safe is it to eat? I love it, but doesn't tuna have a lot of mercury in it? I might still be willing to try out the dish though.
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