Sunday, January 5, 2014

Yes We Can!

Tangy Tuna and Tomato Rigatoni 
It's the eve of a new term. I had a fantastic 2013 and a great Winter Break of travel, delicious food, and relaxation. But it's (once again) time to focus on work, health, and life. Weeks of celebration can give anyone a bit of a food hang-over and I'm in need of something easy, light(er), and tasty. Matt commented the other day, "It's so nice when you're home more." Yeah . . . this near-month of non-work has its advantages (clean-house, completed projects, yummy slow-cooked dinners) but also its disadvantages (isolation, over-indulgence, etc.) And so here I am ready to delve into a new term of teaching and a new directing project. Once again, my evenings will be monopolized by rehearsals and my days full of teaching. How will I feed my family nourishing meals with such time restrictions? Well . . . things like this. Mostly using panty ingredients, I devised this tangy tuna pasta dinner. It makes a ton of food - great for leftover lunches! I also got to use some of my delicious canned tomatoes from my 2013 crop! The sour zip from briny olives and artichoke hearts play nice with the rich and flaky canned tuna. Yeah . . . not everything is "market fresh" - but it's January for crying out loud! Recipes like this are a great way to get a helping of veggies, fiber, and protein in one deeply satisfying pot! Enjoy and Happy 2014!

- 1 lb. dried rigatoni pasta
- 2 cans tuna (packed in oil or water - olive oil tastes better)
- 28 oz. canned tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, peeled and finely diced
- 1 8 oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and lightly rinsed
- 1/2 c. chopped olives (a mix of Kalamata and green make a great flavor)
- 1 c. dry white wine
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. capers, drained and roughly chopped
- salt and pepper
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped Italian parsley
- juice from one lemon
- grated Parmesan for serving
Set a large, heavily salted pot of water to boil. While waiting for the water to boil heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high in a large, heavy pot. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until the onions become sweet and translucent (about 6 minutes).  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook an additional 1-2 minutes until the garlic becomes sweet and fragrant. Increase heat to high and add white wine, deglaze pan, scrapping dark bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minutes and add tomatoes, sugar, olives, capers, artichoke hearts, lemon juice, and drained cans of tuna.

Bring mixture to a boil, then partially cover, lower heat, and simmer over low for 20-25 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken a bit.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water to al dente (about 9-11 minutes according to package directions). Once pasta is cooked, drain, reserving about a cup of pasta cooking liquid.

Add cooked pasta to sauce then splash some pasta water to loosen sauce. Toss with butter to make a silky and tasty sauce! Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

Sprinkle pasta mixture with chopped parsley and stir gently to combine. Serve rigatoni in bowls, sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese. Very yummy and filling without being too heavy - the perfect January dinner!

1 comment:

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