Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pasta and Red Pepper Tuna Sauce with Anchovies, Garlic and Basil

Who doesn't love a hearty bowl of pasta for dinner? There's a pasta dish out there to please nearly every taste because there are infinite combinations of ingredients and types of pasta, ranging from the super-healthy to the sinfully indulgent. This pasta is absolutely delicious but full of heart-healthy ingredients. Olive oil, tuna, and whole grain pasta combine with sweet roasted red peppers and toasty garlic punctuated with a little kick of spice to make a deeply flavored, yet well-rounded dish. With relatively few ingredients in this dish, the olive oil and wine are important to the flavor, so don't cheap out. You should never cook with a wine that you wouldn't drink, but that doesn't mean you have to spend a lot of money. I used a Pinot Grigio from Cedar Creek Winery, one of the many wonderful Wisconsin wineries producing a wide variety of wines at very reasonable prices. And since you won't be using even close to the whole bottle to cook, you might as well pour yourself a glass to enjoy with your pasta.

Pasta and Red Pepper Tuna Sauce with Anchovies, Garlic, and Basil
adapted barely from Cook's Illustrated
serves 4 to 6

6 tablespoons olive oil
6 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 anchovy fillets, minced
1 cup roasted red peppers (7 ounce jar), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup dry white wine
12 ounces canned solid white tuna in water (2 6-ounce cans), drained well and chunks broken up with fingers
Kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or fresh chopped parsley
1 pound whole wheat penne pasta or fusilli, cooked until al dente and drained, 1/4 cup pasta cooking water reserved
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat 3 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon garlic, and red pepper flakes in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and sizzling but not browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Add anchovies and roasted red peppers and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly dry, about 30 seconds. Add wine and bring to simmer; simmer until aroma bears no trace of alcohol, about 1 minute. Add tuna and 2 teaspoons salt and cook, stirring frequently, until tuna is heated through, about 1 minute.

2. Toss tuna mixture, remaining oil and garlic, lemon juice, basil, cooked pasta, and reserved pasta water to coat in warm serving bowl. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste; serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. A flavour extravaganza. I love using anchovies where ever I can, so this recipe gets a big from me!