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(TNS)—This holiday season seems busier than ever with working from home, helping with schoolwork and trying to make things festive. Here’s a quick survival dinner. Most of the ingredients you may have on hand. I used fresh fettuccini. I keep some in my freezer for quick meals, but you can use any type of pasta.

Add red bell peppers cut into cubes to a bag of prewashed salad for colorful holiday salad.

Helpful Hints:
– Four garlic cloves can be used instead of minced garlic.
– Any hard cheese such as Manchego or Romano can be used instead of Parmesan.
– A quick way to chop basil is to wash, dry and snip the leaves with a scissors right off the stem.

– Place water for pasta on to boil.
– Make salad and set aside.
– Make pasta.

Shopping List:

To buy: one package fresh fettuccini, one can reduced-sodium canned diced tomatoes, one can tomato paste, one bunch basil, one jar minced garlic, one six-ounce can white-meat tuna packed in water, one container pitted black olives, one-piece Parmesan cheese, one bag washed, ready-to-eat salad, two red bell peppers and one bottle reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing.
Staples: olive oil, salt and black peppercorns.

Holiday Pasta With Tuna Sauce
Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

1/4 pound fresh fettuccini
2 cups reduced-sodium canned diced tomatoes (drained)
4 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
6 ounces canned white-meat tuna packed in water
10 pitted black olives, cut in half
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat 3 to 4 quarts of water in a large saucepan over high heat. When it boils, add fettuccini and cook 3 minutes or according to package instructions.

While water is coming to a boil, mix tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, basil and tuna together in a large bowl. Make sure all of the ingredients are blended to together. Stir in the olives, olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. When the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the bowl. Toss well. Divide between two dinner plates and sprinkle cheese on top.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 463 calories (24 percent from fat), 12.1 g fat (3 g saturated, 4.9 g monounsaturated), 39 mg cholesterol, 30.8 g protein, 61.8 g carbohydrates, 8.6 g fiber, 598 mg sodium.

Salad With Red Bell Pepper
Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

4 cups washed, ready-to-eat salad
2 red bell peppers cubed (about 2 cups)
4 tablespoons reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing

Place salad in a bowl and add the red bell peppers and dressing. Toss well.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 68 calories (33 percent from fat), 2.5 g fat (0.2 g saturated, 0.7 g monounsaturated), 2 mg cholesterol, 2.2 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 3.9 g fiber, 21 mg sodium.

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of over 30 cookbooks, including her newest, “The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook.” Listen to Linda on and all major podcast sites. Email her at

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