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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Countdown to Dinner: Tuna Spaghetti is a quick combo

Thursday, November 02, 2000

Tested by Nancy Anderson

At first glance, you might think canned tuna and tomato sauce don't make a good marriage, but Gerry Kelminsky of Bridgeville grew up on it.

"We had tuna a lot on Fridays," she said, "and Tuna Spaghetti was a dish we had regularly."

The 49-year-old has continued through the years to make it for friends and family. One of her sisters suggested she submit the recipe to Countdown to Dinner.

Gerry stresses that the onion powder must be mixed in with the tuna before adding it to the sauce.

"It will taste different if you don't," she said. "I've had friends who said, 'Mine doesn't taste like yours' and, when I ask if they mixed the onion powder in the tuna, they say, 'Nah, I just threw it in the sauce.' "

The dish takes 15 minutes to make. A green salad or vegetable and crusty bread are all the accompaniment it needs.

A single retired Pennsylvania psychiatric aide, Gerry is enjoying her newfound freedom by going to flea markets and walking her 15-year-old mutt, Peachy. She's also taken up crafts.

"I might want to go back to work at some point," she said, "but right now I'm just having fun and enjoying life."

Tuna Spaghetti

2 6-ounce cans tuna
1 pound angel hair spaghetti
1 26-to-32-ounce jar spaghetti sauce
2 teaspoons onion powder

Put water on to boil for spaghetti.

Open tuna and drain. Add 1 teaspoon onion powder to each can and mix. You have to mix the onion in the tuna -- if you just add it to the sauce, you get a different taste. Set aside.

Put the sauce on medium heat and, when hot, add the tuna. Drain spaghetti, cover with sauce and serve.

Do you have an entree, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@post-gazette.com. Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

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