The Origins (and Recipe) of MacTunaPea
OR… as some people call it, TunaMacPea
by Jeff Salter
I should probably explain that I’m not handy in the kitchen and I’m loathe to prepare dishes with multiple, complicated steps. My basic rule for meals is two steps: (1) open container and (2) nuke in microwave. I’m willing to stir contents or rotate the package – whatever – but no further ministrations.
So, with that explanation, you may well imagine a meal involving THREE containers and a total of FOUR steps… is already stretching the limits of my skill-set.
I can’t claim to have invented the combination of macaroni and tuna fish… in fact, it may be printed right on the box somewhere. But I know for a fact that I originated the addition of green peas to the mix. It was some time in the mid-1980s as best I can recall. [Note: I’ve since seen instructions for some sort of casserole which uses my primary ingredients – plus something else – and I’m certain they stole that idea from me.]
* 1 (12 oz.) box of Kraft macaroni shells with the cheese ‘sauce’ in a pouch [do NOT try to use the powered cheese substance — it’s nasty]
* 1 (12 oz.) can of white albacore tuna [I prefer StarKist, but any major brand will do as long as it’s packed in water and NOT in slimy oil] Note: you don’t really need 12 full ounces, but it needs to be quite a bit more than the standard 6 oz cans.
* 1 small (8.5 oz.) can of green peas [the peas are mainly for color… and to keep my wife from eating it — ha]
* Boil water in medium-size pot
* Add macaroni
* Boil for 10-12 mins. (or whatever the box says)
* Drain off water
* Squeeze ALL the cheese goop from the pouch… and mix well
* Dump in tuna… and mix well
If your spouse is willing to eat MacTuna but despises Peas… this is the time to scoop out a bowlful and set that aside.
* At the very last minute, add the peas… but do not mix-in too vigorously (because it breaks the peas open and they get mushy).
* Serve in a large bowl and enjoy.
Note: MacTunaPea also tastes very good the next day (assuming you properly refrigerate the leftovers). Just add a teeny bit of water to the leftovers before you nuke it.
* Nuke for about 45 seconds
* Stir and nuke again until it reaches desired temperature
CAUTION: bowl will be hot!
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Important Note: I can no longer eat this version of MacTunaPea because I learned, in late 2011, that I’m allergic to GLUTEN. Substituting the G-F pasta for the Kraft macaroni makes for a fairly nasty blend. I do still eat it occasionally, but it’s a far cry from the REAL Stuff.