Although I'm usually really good about meal planning and grocery shopping because I love shopping the farmers' market and searching for recipes, every once in a while there's an evening where I get home with absolutely no plan for dinner and a relatively empty fridge because we've gone through most of my farmers' market bounty from the night before. This recipe was my answer to that predicament one Friday night. I always have dried pasta and tuna in the cabinet and with a bit of good olive oil and garlic, it became a quick and healthy dinner. This recipe is a variation on a traditional Italian dish, and no doubt recipes for dishes similar to this abound. I love both garlic and parsley so I quite generous with those ingredients and would be even more liberal with the roasted red pepper flakes if I was cooking it only for myself. Quick to prepare and highly satisfying, this is a great recipe to keep on file when you're starving and need a quick and healthy meal. To round out the meal, add a nice side salad or other vegetable (I chose peas, a delightful pairing), and a glass of wine to treat yourself if it has been a long day (or week). Buon Appetito!
Fettuccine with Tuna and Garlic
4 ounces whole wheat fettuccine
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
One 5-ounce can tuna, drained and flaked
1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Cook the fettuccine in a pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes . Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
2. Meanwhile, in a small pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water and the tuna, parsley and crushed red pepper and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened.
3. Pour the sauce into the pot with the fettuccine, adding enough of the remaining reserved pasta cooking water to coat the pasta with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.