This was a surprise. So, too, was checking my cupboard on Sunday evening past for an onion that I was fairly certain was there – alas, no longer! I’d forgotten to replenish. As I’d wanted to cook my go-to dish of caramelised onions, pan-fried broccoli and tuna this was a situ of going quite simply blond. Sometimes it’s good to be put on the spot, so to speak. And as lemons are in season I thought, why not?
As I only had them and organic garlic and single/light cream that’s pretty much what I added. Apart from oregano and black olives. What I was impressed with was tasting this Lemon and Tuna Pasta at room temperature the following day – this is going to be perfect with a little cream cheese or ricotta as a pâté (without the broad beans) as the lemon had even more zing. With a little lemon zest I think this will work out well. When it’s warmer, that is. And this would be perfect to go with one of my favourite soups: wild sorrel. That is absolutely delicious. Shame I won’t be able to find any here. Really should move back to civilisation! Hmm…until I do I might just post it before its season, even if I can’t go with a photo (I’ll try and do this as a pâté instead). That’s when I find the recipe as it’s somewhere within six notebooks!
Lemon and Tuna Pasta, with broad beans and garlic
- olive oil
- 1 x 185g or 130g drained weight (6.52 or 4.58 oz drained) can tuna chunks in brine, well drained
- 1 x dried bay leaf, split
- 2 x garlic cloves, peeled and crushed/minced
- 1/2 x lemon, rolled under palms of hands before slicing, squeezed through a fine sieve to collect pips, etc
- 1 x pinch cayenne pepper OR 1/4 x teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 x level teaspoon dried oregano
- a little single/light cream, sauce should cling unto pasta rather than be too wet
- 1 x 300g or 195g drained weight (10.58 or 6.87 oz drained) can broad (fava) beans, well rinsed
- pasta of personal choice, cooked to the pack’s instructions, minus one minute in most cases (if, like me, you don’t care for anything too salty then do cut back on the amount of salt added to the water for the pasta)
- cooking liquor from the pasta, about 2 or more tablespoons
- 4 or more x pitted black olives per person, sliced
- Grana Padano cheese or Parmesan, finely grated, to serve
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
- After draining the tuna I like to get the chunks into a large heavy-based saucepan with a good glug of olive oil and the bay leaf. Put on electric heat at either No 2 or 3 (out of 6) and allow to settle. The reason I do this is to cook out any remaining brine, although you do need to keep an eye on this as the tuna shouldn’t really start to turn crisp.
- Reduce heat to No 1, spread the tuna to the sides, add a little more oil if necessary and add the crushed garlic. Take off heat if pan is too hot as the garlic shouldn’t really be allowed to change colour.
- In the meantime have the water for the pasta prepared and on heat No 4. Cook to the pack’s instructions, omitting one minute. Before draining reserve several tablespoons of the cooking liquor for the tuna.
- Prepare the lemon and add to the tuna after the garlic has cooked enough. Sprinkle over a good pinch of cayenne and add the freshly squeezed lemon juice, poured through a fine sieve to collect pips and any pith. Stir through and up the heat to No 2 if the pasta is nearly ready. Pour over a little single/light cream and again stir through. The sauce should cling unto the pasta instead of being too wet.
- Prepare the black olives and grate the cheese of choice.
- Add the reserved cooking liquor and if sauce is too wet up the heat and stir constantly to prevent any scorching and this will help the cream and lemon from splitting as well. Remove the bay leaf, add the drained pasta, stir through and serve on warm plates with the black olives and grated cheese.
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