I love pasta – I could eat it every day. My husband often remarks that I must be Italian by birth, and that, due to a mistake in the hospital, I was sent home with the woman I knew as my mother rather than my real, Italian immigrant mother. It’s a whimsical tale, typical of my husband, but I can see where he got the idea from, as I’m always trying new ways with pasta.
This is one of my favourites – it’s quick to make from store cupboard standbys, so I make it for myself when my husband has a steak and kidney pie day, as I don’t do offal or pastry. These ingredients serve 1, but can be increased proportionately to the size of your family.
Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Medley
25g dried pasta shapes – I like tricolore spirals, as the sauce coats them nicely, and they’re very colourful
For the sauce:
I tbsp extra virgin olive oil
I small onion, or half a large one, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 a yellow pepper, diced
1 small courgette, roughly chopped
2 large, fresh tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp fresh or freeze dried parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small tin tuna chunks, drained
1 hard boiled egg, quartered
Handful of black olives, or green olives stuffed with pimentos, drained and rinsed
First of all, boil a pan of water, add a splash of olive oil and a little salt to taste. Add pasta, place the lid on the pan, turn off the heat and leave for at least 10 minutes. This is a foolproof method of cooking any dried pasta, and as well as saving fuel, your pasta won’t go soggy, even if you leave it for half an hour. Just drain and rinse with boiling water when you’re ready to serve.
Heat the olive oil, then add the garlic, peppers and onion. Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover and allow to soften.
Meanwhile, grate the tomatoes. This is a Spanish cooking technique which is easiest if you use a grater with an integrated bowl. Rub the tomato over the grater, with the rounded end nearest the blades, As the tomato grates, the skin will peel back as if by magic.
Add the grated tomatoes, courgettes, tomato puree and seasoning to the garlic, pepper and onions. Bring to the boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for 10 – 15 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
Drain the pasta, and rinse with boiling water. Place in serving dish. Stir the drained tuna and the parsley into the pasta sauce, and pile onto pasta. garnish with hard boiled eggs and olives. Serve with crusty bread and a green salad.
This is a quick, low fat, delicious pasta meal, perfect for any time of the day and any occasion. Enjoy!