Quick Mediterranean Pantry Pasta
We’ve all been there before – unexpected dinner guests or family coming to town with no time to stock up at the store. With every evening packed last week, it happened to me. But luckily one of my daily foodie news sources had perfect timing.
Just a day before my parents were to arrive in town, a recipe showed up in my inbox that sounded fantastic and all the ingredients were already in my pantry. I was volunteering until 7pm that night. But I knew with this awesome dish, I could have dinner on the table within 15 minutes of walking in the door.
In my opinion, the key here is to use a quality olive oil packed tuna. The grocery store stuff just won’t do, no matter how great it tastes in your tuna salad sandwiches. I’ve discovered this incredible Bonita del Norte tinned tuna and keep it stocked at home and the office. It’s caught one fish at a time by Spanish fishermen using a fishing rod. The oval tin is super cute and bright, but the fish inside tops any expectation the charming packaging would set. I love to eat it straight out of the can. You can buy it from Zingermann’s – when it’s in stock.
Apparently, the Spanish view canning as a way to age the product. For another option, try this olive oil packed tuna in a jar. It plays a staring role at some hot New York City restaurants.
So here’s the recipe! If you want to jazz it up a little, replace the kalamata olives with a high-quality olive tapenade like Loredanna’s Il Mezzogiorno (all their tapenades are amazing BTW!). You can buy it today and tomorrow at the Junior League’s Holiday Mart at Bartle Hall.
- In a large pot, boil ½ pound of fettucine or penne in salted water until al dente.
- While the pasta cooks, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat.
- Add 2 cloves of sliced garlic and 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes release their juices.
- Add one 3-ounce can of olive-oil packed tuna and its oil, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the tuna chunks.
- Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water.
- Reduce heat to low, add the reserved pasta cooking water to the tomato mixture, then add the cooked pasta and ½ cup pitted, chopped kalamata olives.
- Toss to coat, then remove from heat and add a handful of chopped basil leaves.