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The Dorm Room Dish

By Danielle Ruiz, Staff Writer

We've all had massive amounts of mac n'cheese from the Student Center while at Hofstra, and as delicious as it can be, it can get a little boring after eating it for months on end. Surprisingly enough, we all still crave this delicious comfort food dish no matter how many times we have it. Perhaps all mac n' cheese needs is a little facelift to make it exciting and new again. Who doesn't want to fall in love with pasta all over again? Tuna, peas, mac n'cheese is a simple solution to the mac n' cheese dilemma. This recipe put a new twist on an old friend and it tastes great.

Your dorm kitchen will be your best friend for this quick and easy dish. You really only need one pot so clean up and preparation is a breeze. If you do have a small skillet on hand though you can sautee your peas, and heat up your tuna before mixing it in with the pasta. The ingredients of this dish are clearly self-explanantory. All you need is a box of elbow pasta, two small cans of tuna, a small can of peas, a jar of alfredo sauce and a bag of shredded cheese. Most of the ingredients in this dish can be substituted for ingredients to fit your liking. The shredded cheese is optional and so is the alfredo sauce. With alfredo sauce, you get a more authentic flavor, but a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese will do just fine. If you feel like being a little more playful with your meal, try using bowtie pasta. Peas are the standard veggie for this dish, but go ahead and use your veggie of choice. Green beans or corn would be a fabulous substition for this dish. The dish can easily be made vegetarian as well by taking out the tuna, or if you aren't a fish lover, go for ham, chicken or some crispy bacon!

Tuna, Peas, Mac N' Cheese

Ingredients:

1 box elbow pasta         

2 cans of tuna in water    

1 bag of shredded cheese (optional)

1 jar of alfredo sauce (optional)

1  can of peas

Follow the instructions on the macaroni box and cook it to your taste. Make sure to stir your pasta a lot while its boiling so it doesn't stick together. After the pasta is soft, drain the water, add in the alfredo sauce and stir it well. Cheesiness is all up to the cook, use as little or as much as you desire. I personally used 3/4 of the jar, but you might want to use the whole jar. Go ahead and have your peas open and drained of water so you can pour them into the pot once the cheese sauce is mixed in. Like earlier mentioned, if you have a small skillet sautee your peas for a bit so they'll be soft and warm when you add them to the mix. Because the tuna and peas will be cold if you don't have a skillet to heat them up in, make sure to leave the stove turned on low or medium so the ingredients will heat up. Once your peas are mixed in with the pasta and alfredo sauce, add your tuna. The tuna might be grouped together in chunks so pulling the tuna apart by hand will help the tuna mix better into the dish. Stir this beautiful concoction well, so the tuna and peas are distributed evenly.

The final touch for this comfort dish is the shredded cheese. It doesn't matter what kind of cheese you choose. Try mozzarella, cheddar or parmesan.Sprinkle your desired amount of shredded cheese on top of the pasta and place a lid on the mix. Leave the pot on the stove simmering for about 2 minutes. When you uncover your pot, a deliciously cheesy meal will be waiting for you!

Quick Tips:

1.) Lightly season your tuna and peas with salt and pepper for a little extra flavor before tossing them in the pot

2.) Use a wooden spoon to stir, to prevent sticking

3.) A pot with a strainer lid makes life a whole lot easier

 

A great alternative to Student Center mac n' cheese. (Danielle Ruiz/The Chronicle)

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