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Mad Men Style Tuna Noodle Comfort Food

Easy comfort food- gluten-free pasta with tuna.
Easy comfort food- pasta with tuna or salmon.

The moment I knew my first marriage was failing faster than you could murmur Jello on a stick was the minute my Don Draper-esque first husband shoved his plate of tuna noodle casserole across the lemon-waxed bridal table, declared, I'm not eating this crap, and disappeared for four hours into a dark rainy weeknight.

A man who cannot fathom the retro comfort- admittedly, a guilty pleasure- of a Wednesday night sixties classic is a person who might also belittle your favorite actor in a role so crackling in its own shiver of guilty pleasure that the hair on the back of your neck stands up when you hear Point Break is on HBO again.

In other words, Dear Reader, if a guy mocks your noodles and your Keanu, it might be time to stiffen your spine and rustle up the courage to reconsider your choice of a life partner.

You gotta go down, Brah. Vaya con Dios.

And, oh, in case you're wondering where Husband #2 stands on Keanu? Dude. He's a major fan. 


Karina's Gluten-Free Tuna and Artichoke Pasta (Don Draper would not approve.)

Who knew that gluten-free noodles tossed with copious amounts of chopped garlic, grape tomatoes, and artichokes in olive oil was not only the easiest dish to throw together, but could end up being a serious contender for your favorite comfort food list? I bet I'm not the only one. 


8 oz. gluten-free spaghetti
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
10 oz. frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, cut in half
4 oz. chopped black olives
A handful of organic sweet grape tomatoes, halved
A goodly splash of balsamic vinegar

Low mercury tuna or wild salmon
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, goat cheese, or vegan cheese, for serving

Instructions: Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and cook the gluten-free spaghetti until it is al dente. Drain. In the meantime, heat a generous pour of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and herbs to the oil and cook for one minute. Add the artichokes, olives and tomatoes. Splash a taste of balsamic vinegar to the mix and stir. Heat through gently till simmering. 

Add cooked or canned tuna/salmon in chunks near the end of cooking time- just to heat through. When the pasta is al dente, drain and pour the cooked pasta into the skillet mixture and lightly toss to coat. Add a dab more olive oil, if needed. Throw in some toasted pine nuts. 

Offer shredded Parmesan or goat cheese, if desired Pop in the new special edition of Point Break. Serves two.

Recipe Source:

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Sarah said…
I have a deep affection for Keanu (& try to see Point Break once a year). I look forward to trying your Tuna Noodle Surprise...
karen in Escondido said…
Love it and can't wait to try it. I am feeling quite motivated now to try my old favorite baked ziti recipe (prior to GF land). Thanks.
e said…
I love your sense of humor.
Dianne said…

That looks truly gorgeous! I'm still experimenting with different brands of pasta, maybe I should take notes and post a taste test!

Alice said…
Wierd thing, I made almost this exact dish the other night because I was craving exactly what you said "comfort food" and I thought of your lovely blog as I made it, using Tinkyada pasta as well, for the first time. My dish was almost identical minus the pine nuts (only because I didn't have any on-hand)I used fresh basil threw some frozen calamari I had in the freezer. yum.
Your pictures are beautiful by the way.
Ok this looks good. Will have to veganize it, but looks easy enough. Thats what I like, easy comfort food!
lucette said…
I am a tuna noodle lover--one of our favorites is a makeover of the old cream-of-mushroom-soup standby--tuna, noodles, white sauce with sauteed mushrooms and onions, hint of tarragon and nutmeg, topped with grated cheese. Extremely good. Ours itn't gluten free, but it could be easily made so, by using gluten-free noodles and a flour substitute in the white sauce.
Anonymous said…
Awww I knew we were kindred spirits! Gluten free and Keanu too!
Shannon said…
There is just something about the combination of tuna and noodles. I need to check to see if the President's Choice Greek Dressing is GF. I have a summer staple that I make with that: pasta, dressing, feta, artichokes, onion, red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, and inevitably something else.

Oh! Now I am a lover of Tinkyada, but it is a wee bit expensive. I decided to try Trader Joe's GF pasta. Excellent! I would say about equal quality for $1-$2 less per bag.

As for Keanu...all I have to say is "The Lake House". I love that boy. I have also heard he is amazingly nice and generous with those he works with. Bought Harleys for all the guys on the crew for "The Matrix". Also, so so pretty!
Karen said…
Hi Karina,
I pulled up the tuna noodle recipe to try it tonight and found that it did not include the tuna anymore. Are you changing all your past recipes to complete vegetarian?--I know your future ones will be.
Karen said…
Thanks Karina,
I have enjoyed your recipes with fish and chicken and look forward to trying more vegetarian dishes in the future!
Morgan said…
You use canned tuna or fresh in this recipe? My boyfriend has been saying how much he likes tuna and noodles...I'm the skeptic...

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