Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I’ve been working like a maniac lately. Trying to get the App finished, a couple of articles, 2 book proposals and a project for my publishing company, One Book Press. So, as you can imagine, grocery shopping hasn’t been at the top of my list of things to do.
So, Sunday lunch rolled around and it was time to go the pantry and - as my mother would say - see ‘what’s what’. Luckily there’s still quite a bit of ‘what’s wha’t left over from the Salone.
I realized I still hadn’t used the fantastic can of tuna I bought. And if you’re asking yourself how I can describe a can of tuna as fantastic, that means you’ve never had ventresca tuna. This is a cut of tuna from the belly, and so very tender, very fatty and extremely tasty. It’s always packaged in flat cans, to preserve the shape of the filets intact, and always packed in olive oil.
And for some reason, whatever the brand, this kind of tuna always has fantastic, old fashioned labels. So of course I bought a few.
Since it was Sunday lunch, pasta was a given. I thought about doing something with tomato sauce, but didn’t want to overwhelm this extraordinary can of tuna. So I kept things simple, A few olives and capers, some lemon (juice and zest) from a tree on our terrace. A bit of garlic, loads of olive oil. And the package of cavatelli I picked up along the autostrada on the way back from Bari (my favorite source of cavatelli and orecchiette).
Cavatelli with Tuna and Lemon
I find this dish works best with pasta like cavatelli or orecchiete. Pastas that are made from grano duro, and that stay firm, and don’t absorb too much sauce.
400 grams of cavatelli
4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
16 black olives, pitted
2 tablespoons capers*
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Ventresca Tuna (100 gr)
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, then add pasta.
In meantime, in a large bowl, place olives, capers, garlic, oil, red pepper, lemon zest and juice. Stir well. Add the tuna, broken into large chunks.
When pasta is cooked al dente, drain, reserving a half cup of the cooking water. Add pasta to the bowl with the tuna mixture, and toss gently. Add a bit of the cooking water to moisten. Add parsley and toss. Serve.