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Vegan Jackfruit Tuna Pasta

 This twist on cheesy tuna pasta uses jackfruit for a fishy fakeout and gets tons of umami-rich flavor from mixed olives and salty capers. 

Serves: 4
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The whole tomatoes in this pasta from Rachel Ama’s Vegan Eats cookbook are literally bursting with flavor, while touches of basil, oregano, maple syrup, and garlic impart rich aromas to the sauce. Chunks of fishy jackfruit and olives add salty, meaty heft to this comforting pasta dish. 

What you need:

For the jackfruit tuna:
1 (15-ounce) can jackfruit, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons nori flakes

For the tomato sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 (15-ounce) cans cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon maple syrup
⅓ cup mixed olives, pitted and chopped
¼ cup capers

5 cups dry spaghetti noodles, prepared according to package directions

For serving:
⅓ cup fresh parsley, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil

What you do:

  1. For jackfruit tuna, in a medium bowl, using a fork, break jackfruit into small pieces, removing any tough stems, then stir in soy sauce, lemon juice, and nori flakes. Mix well to combine, cover bowl with a plate, and set aside.
  2. For the sauce, into a deep saucepan over medium heat, add oil and red onion and sauté for about 7 minutes until softened. Stir in garlic, dried oregano, and basil and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, add tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper, and bring to a simmer and cook for 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 teaspoon maple syrup and stir. 
  3. Into tomato sauce, add jackfruit tuna, olives, and capers. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Add cooked spaghetti to sauce and divide between 4 serving dishes.  Garnish with parsley, a grind of pepper, and a tablespoon of olive oil drizzled over.

Photo credit: Rachel Ama 

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