When in Doubt, Do Pasta!
Why pasta? Because it’s cheap and easy to cook.
We got used to having few cans of tuna stashed in the cupboard. It is our “end of the world reserve”. Same with pasta. Garlic, onion and olive oil we always have around. If you want to get fancy, buy some fresh pasta or, if you have time and energy, do it yourself.
There are many ways you can cook a simple dish like pasta and tuna. There is no right or wrong. If you like it, it’s right. I tried many combinations before getting the one we love. It’s quick, tasty and it goes like this:
This dish serves 3 and takes approx. 15-20 minutes.
300 gr. wholewheat spaghetti, fusilli or penne
240 gr. of tuna steak in very little oil
a handful of sunflower seeds
6 garlic cloves
1/2 large onion
250 gr. chopped tomatoes (from the can or, if you grow them or have a good supplier, fresh ones are the best)
150 gr. tomato sauce (plain or from concentrate – see instruction on the container)
grated parmesan or grana padano
herbs: thyme and basil – feel free to add oregano as-well
salt and pepper
2 spoons of cooking oil
one spoon of olive oil
The pasta: Boil some water (2 litre) for pasta. Use a 5 litre pot. When boiling, add a teaspoon of salt and do not throw away the pasta package before reading the cooking time. Been there done that.
The sauce: Start roasting the sunflower seeds with a bit of salt in a medium-large pan. You cook for three here. As soon as the seeds start popping, toss them around a bit and add a spoon or two of oil.
Now is time for the chopped garlic and onion. Remember, it should be diced uniformly to be done at the same time. Don’t rush, as soon as the onions and garlic are brownish, you are halfway through.
You’d better check the boiling water for the pasta. Add the pasta. Let it do its thing. Boil.
Put the tuna in the pan. Mmmm, the smell! Toss the fish chunks to mix with the seeds, garlic and onions. Add the chopped tomatoes. Follow up with tomato paste. As soon as the sauce starts boiling you are done. Turn off the heat.
Spices? It is fairly easy. You add slowly and taste the sauce. I use dried mixed herbs (basil, thyme, marjoram, sage, oregano) and sometimes green ones (thyme and basil). How much of those, it is really up to you. I am not shy with ground pepper.
Check on pasta, drain the water as soon as they are boiled and leave them in the cooking pot with a spoon of olive oil.
This dish is supposed to be served hot, but it’s amazing as leftover next day @work.
Just dig in. Sometimes I add grated parmesan and an extra olive oil on top. Maybe some leaves of herbs (thyme and basil) as well.
Not too shabby for a recipe made out of armageddon-like food supplies, right? Bon appétit!