Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Wednesday Night Tuna Pasta

In the business of Tuna Pasta - that family staple - the critical edge is BRAND.

My brand of tinned tuna of choice, and I think Kim's too, is SIRENA - known by my children as the Mermaid Tuna for the picture on the tin.

I'm not a huge fan of packaged shortcuts like tinned tuna with pesto, or lemon pepper, or sun-dried tomatoes. In my opinion they all come with a strange taste underneath whatever 'fresh' flavour they are supposed to have, maybe it's the preservatives? And besides, it is so easy to add any of those flavourings for real, it's hardly a time saver. Here endeth the sub-sermon.

The exception that proves the rule is Sirena's tuna with chili and olive oil, which has a real chili inside it and tastes great. We keep both the plain and the chili and sometimes add the springwater variety for salads and sandwiches (although I admit the Pea Princess, a tuna fiend, often gets the pre-shredded cheaper brand sandwich tuna for her lunch).

Wednesday Night Tuna Pasta goes like this:

  1. Cook the pasta, loads of it and add plenty of salt to the water.
  2. While it's cooking, smash some garlic and throw it into a pan WITH the sirena tuna and its oil, let it all warm through.

Now, depending on how you feel you could then make:

  • Tomato Tuna Pasta, by adding real or tinned tomatoes to the tuna and garlic and heating to bubbling stage
  • Lemon Tuna Pasta, by squeezing in lemon juice and a good herb, like lemon thyme (always growing at my place because the snails don't like it) or chopped italian parsley (ditto)
  • Chili Tuna Pasta, by using the chili tuna in the first place (chop the supplied chili finely) or adding fresh - I often make one of the top two options, serve the kids' meals, then add the fresh or dried chili to the pot for the grown-ups

... combine everything, mix well, add more salt and pepper, serve up.

You can of course cheat even more and use a good pre-made pasta sauce, just depends how crap you are feeling mid week - and whether the kids are so starving that an extra minute of chopping or stirring really is too long to wait.

Embarassing, really, to even call it a recipe!