Oh the great dinner conundrum after a busy day at work - the pull between wanting something delish to eat, but also not wanting to spend much time in the kitchen (enter Uber Eats)? Prepping this dish won’t take up your eve, and what time you do put in will produce a really tasty and nutritionally balanced meal.
A bowlful of this pasta will provide a good source of energy (pasta), protein (tuna and butter beans), dietary fibre (butter beans, pasta and veggies), quality fat (olive oil), and a few serves of veggies (vitamin, minerals and antioxidants).
It’s also flavour-packed – with each mouthful you get bursts of salty feta and olives, zesty lemon, meaty tuna loin, fresh flat-leaf parsley and a small kick of chilli to take it up a notch. A little fancy, but totally easy.
Canned tuna is an excellent source of complete protein, containing all essential amino acids (essential meaning our body cannot produce it, so we must receive an adequate intake through a varied diet). These are used as the building blocks, or major structural component, of cells and cell membranes — everything from muscles, skin, hair, and even bones!
It’s a long life, convenient and affordable protein option. Protein’s an important macronutrient from a satiation perspective – it keeps us feeling full for longer, regulating appetite. If you’re hungry not long after eating, check the meal’s protein content! Two larger serves will dish up a little over 44g protein each, and three smaller serves a little over 29g protein each (for context your minimum recommended protein intake is 0.8g x your body weight/day).
Tuna’s a good source of essential omega-3 fatty acids, found in varying concentrated amounts in fish; which has an important role in brain, skin and heart health, as well as helping reduce inflammation.
While the pasta is cooking, heat a small drizzle of olive oil in a pan. Add garlic, courgette, cherry tomatoes and pinch of chilli flakes. Sauté for 5 minutes.
Open tin of butter beans, drain liquid, rinse well and then add to fry-pan, along with the spinach and olives. Cook for another two minutes. Turn off heat.
Once the pasta has cooked drain and add back to the fry pan. Mix together.
Finely snip using kitchen scissors the Italian parsley, and add. Add the juice and zest of the lemon, and the two tins of tuna, pouring in the oil (this will help dress the pasta). Crumble over the feta. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning – add more salt and pepper if desired, more feta, lemon, olive oil etc.
* Tuna in an olive oil base is needed for this dish, as the oil helps dress the pasta and provide a Mediterranean flavour! Using another flavour may alter taste. If your tuna doesn’t contain oil, then dress generously with olive oil.Use up what you’ve got: This dish welcomes other veggies. Feel free to add what’s in the crisper and needs to be used up .g. diced eggplant, capsicum…