Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tuna Puttanesca

I have somewhat of a love-hate relationship with Rachel Ray. When she was Ms. Sunshine-yelling-face, I was not a fan. When she toned it down and stopped using so many damn acronyms and quips, I was a fan. When she told me to roast my pork tenderloin until it tasted like shoe leather, I was not a fan. But when she brought tuna puttanesca to my table, I sat up and listened. And I am happy to say that we are on good terms again.

Let's be honest, what else do you use canned tuna for other than slathering it with mayo and sticking it between bread? Slathering it in mayo and stuffing it in an avocado (which is very, very delicious). Seeing a common theme? Well, thankfully Rachel has provided me with a delicious pasta dish that everyone should try at least once. You can make the sauce in the time it takes to cook the pasta (for some quips on that see here)

Tuna Puttenesca

1 pound penne pasta

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cans (about 5.5 to 6 ounces each) tuna in water, drained well

6 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

A generous handful black olives (kalamata work well), pitted and chopped

3 tablespoons capers, drained

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 (28-ounce) diced tomatoes

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 teaspoons lemon zest

Fresh ground black pepper


Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring up to a boil. Salt the water and cook penne to al dente.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet with about 2T extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, cook a minute or 2, then add tuna and break it up with your spoon. Add olives and capers, cook a minute or 2 more, then add white wine; stir and cook down a minute. Stir in diced tomatoes and juice. Add parsley, zest and black pepper, then simmer the sauce a couple of minutes more.

Add a couple of ladles of starchy pasta-cooking water to the sauce. Reduce slightly until just barely thickened. Drain pasta, add to the skillet and toss to coat.


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