Pasta With Tuna and Olives
If you want to make a complete meal of this, add a green vegetable to the mix (see the variation below). I prefer to use fusilli, because I like the way the tuna gets lodged in the twists of the corkscrews. Other types of pasta, such as penne or spaghetti, work be just as well.
- 1 6 1/2-ounce can water-packed light (not albacore) tuna, drained
- 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (to taste)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup fresh tomato sauce or a good prepared marinara sauce
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley or slivered fresh basil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 cup pitted imported black olives, such as kalamatas, cut in half or into quarters lengthwise
- 3/4 pound fusilli, penne, farfalle or spaghetti
- Freshly grated Parmesan for serving (optional)
1. Begin heating a large pot of water for the pasta. In a large pasta bowl, break up the tuna. Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan or saucepan over medium heat, and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, just until fragrant, and remove from the heat. Add to the tuna. Add the parsley or basil, and mix together.
2. Add the tomato sauce to the pan, heat through, and then add the red pepper flakes if using. Stir in the olives.
3. When the water for the pasta comes to a boil, add a generous tablespoon of salt and the pasta. Cook al dente, until firm to the bite, following the cooking instructions on the package but checking the pasta a minute or two before the indicated time. Remove two tablespoons of the cooking water, and mix with the tuna.
4. When the pasta is al dente, drain and transfer to the bowl with the tuna. Add the tomato sauce with the olives, toss everything together, and serve. Pass the Parmesan at the table.
Yield: Serves four
Advance preparation: The recipe can be prepared through step 2 several hours ahead of cooking and serving the pasta. Fresh tomato sauce will keep for three or four days in the refrigerator, and it freezes well.