Monday, February 23, 2009

Quick Tuna Pasta

If there is one word I love to hear in a recipe's title, it's the word "QUICK"!

For "quick" is most often the only thing I have time for. The good news is this beautifully glistening pasta sauce is among the fastest 3 pasta meals I know how to make. (and by meals, I'm not talking about something that comes in a can or plastic package from the store) So, lend me your metaphorical ear & we will throw it together.

I must warn you, I've always had a bit of a a paranoia about posting pasta recipes. There's a lot of mystique surrounding the method for making "perfect" pastas & I sure wouldn't want to bust anyone's bubble about the "proper"" way of doing things. So let me just say this recipe is a 100% "Al'-wings-it-big-time-pasta-QUICK-recipe-of-science"! OK? Soooo, now that your mind is at ease, run to the kitchen NOW!!! Not a moment to loose!

Here's what we need:

400 g. of canned tuna (how many cans that is you'll have to figure out yourself, I use about 3-4)
600-800 g. canned tomatoes (again, I use 3 2oog cans)
1 large onion
5 cloves of garlic
a bottle of E.V. olive oil
5 sprigs of fresh rosemary from the back yard (or 1 tsp of dried)
2-3 sprigs of fresh basil (or 1/2 tsp dried, personally I just skip the basil if it's not fresh)
2 dried peppers
salt & pepper
Parmesan cheese to top & basil
700g-1 kg pasta noodles

Now grab a heavy bottom pot for the sauce & a large pot for the noodles, QUICK, go to work, you need about 1 hr flat starting from 5 minutes ago so PANIC! (just kidding, we never panic in the kitchen).

Fill the large pot with water & throw in 2 handfuls of salt till you're pretty sure it tastes like the ocean. Dump the canned tomatoes into the saucepan & bring them to a boil then lower the heat & simmer. You'll need to simmer the tomatoes till they are about 1/2 the amount you started with. It'll take about 40 min.

Meanwhile peel & slice the garlic, slice the dried peppers & wash & chop the rosemary. Put them all in about 1/4-1/3 c of olive oil in a small skillet. Leave them to soak while you chop up the onion & open & drain the canned tuna.

Saute the garlic/olive oil mixture on low till the edges of the garlic are just starting to brown then add the onions & saute for another few minutes till they're translucent. Shut the heat off. Add a little salt & pepper to taste.

Now you'll probably have a bit of a window of time here if you've timed it right. So twiddle your thumbs, run around naked (yeah, you didn't think I knew about that did you?) or restore order to the chaos that has just ensued from you deserting your kids for a full 15 minutes. Most likely though you'll just have time to throw together a salad & dressing or what have you.

If your tomatoes are starting to look thicker & more like "sauce" & less like "tin tomatoes" then chuck in the garlic & onion oil & add a little sugar. "Little" is of course open to interpretation. I usually add about 2 tbsp. You just want to offset the acid not turn your pasta into ketchup. Let the sauce simmer for a few more minutes before adding the tuna. Don't over mix the tuna. I like a few chunks not a mass of blended tuna business, you know what I mean? You also might want to throw in a few more tbsp of olive oil. Because as we all know the secret to any yummy pasta is the oil.

By this time the water should be boiling & you should be counting down to dinner. So boil your pasta al dente. And if your in a real hurry forget the pasta plate, just strain the pasta & dump it straight onto the hot sauce (key: the sauce should still be very hot) into the sauce pan. Toss till you've got an even sauce/noodle ratio & sprinkle with Parmesan & serve to the hungry masses IMMEDIATELY!

TA-DA!!! There you go!
I don't mean to be a finicky whiny cook, but since you've lent me your ear I'm gonna go ahead & "whisper-breathe" into it. I firmly believe that timing is everything when you cook. The pleasantness of a meal is increased at least 50% if you serve the food HOT HOT HOT!! So be prepared to man your station till the last possible second. Better yet, have people already there with their plates. They'll thank you for it. A tip, if you have a ceramic pasta dish, place it in a pre-heated (NOT RUNNING) oven for a few minutes while you're waiting for the pasta to finish cooking. Keep the sauce hot till the last minute.

I can't aptly express my disappointment at the times I made a fantastic pasta too early & then waited 15 minutes because people were not ready to come to the table yet & watching TIME turn it into overdone bloated sad pasta fiasco. Or worse yet making it on time & then having it get cold because you didn't come. So be a pal & come to dinner on time! (eh-hum!) That is all, thanks for the ear.

Happy Hunting!

1 comment:

Amy said...

That's so pretty