Monday, March 9, 2009
Honestly, I can take canned tuna or leave it. Now a nice piece of seared ahi tuna is a different story(love it!), but I never ever think, "Mmm. I can't wait to open up that can of tuna that has been at the back of my pantry for Lord- knows-how-long and eat it for lunch." For one thing, it stinks. I will agree that can of tuna does have potential: tuna salad sandwiches, tuna noodle casserole, grilled tuna patties... but it's just never in the front of my mind when I'm thinking of what to eat. Well here is one recipe that, in my opinion, elevates the value of canned tuna exceptionally. Makes it classy, even. But I wouldn't say "fancy" because then I'm thinking of Fancy Feast and my whole mindset that canned tuna is okay goes right to cat food and I'm done. It ruins the whole Spicy Tuna Linguine euphoric glow that I've been basking in since dinner. So, "classy" tuna it is.
There were a lot of flavors and textures going on with this light, refreshing pasta: the familiar garlic, the subtle heat from the red pepper flakes, the tuna, the freshness of the cilantro and finally the toasted pine nut topping. I'll go ahead and answer the question that I am asked about most of my meals: yes the kids ate it! I dished out their portion before adding the cilantro (because it's green...oh the horror!) and the pine nuts (because I only like those nuts BEFORE my food, mommy, not IN it!). I also picked the mushrooms out of one of the bowls. Sneaky, sneaky. Anyway, Yeah. They liked it. Shovelled in mouthfuls of noodles, even.
So to begin, I minced 4 cloves of garlic, chopped 1/2 cup of onion, and sliced 2 cups of mushrooms.
I tossed that into a skillet heated with a tablespoon of olive oil and added...
1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. Cook the mushroom mixture until golden brown.
Then I measured about 14 oz. of chicken broth and added it to the skillet with
a can of diced tomatoes.
I brought that to a boil and threw in the linguine. Give it a stir to make sure that the pasta strands are all separated. Then, reduce the heat, cover and cook until your pasta is tender.
Add the can of drained tuna and stir to combine.
Oh, and don't forget the fresh, chopped cilantro. I love cilantro!
Serve it topped with toasted pine nuts. You can't really see them in this picture. I accidentally stirred them in before I remembered to take the shot. Oops.
I love this pasta. I'm thrilled that there are leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Seriously. I'm not just saying that. Canned tuna. Hmm. Impressive.
Spicy Tuna Linguine with Garlic and Pine Nuts
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
9 oz. uncooked linguine, dry or fresh
1 can (12 ounces) water packed tuna, drained and chunked
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts or almonds
In 12-inch skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat; saute garlic, mushrooms, onion and red pepper until golden brown. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, salt and black pepper; bring to a boil.
Separate uncooked linguine into strands; place in skillet and spoon sauce over. Reduce heat to simmer; cook, covered, until cooked through. About 4 minutes for fresh, 10 or more for dry. Toss gently; add tuna and cilantro and toss again. Sprinkle with pine nuts.
Makes 6 servings.
I added up the total calculated Weight Watchers points for all of the ingredients and divided by 6 servings. I came up with 5 Weight Watcher's points per serving if you sprinkle it with 1 tablespoon of toasted pine nuts. 1 T of pine nuts = 1 point according to my 2003 WW book.