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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Italian Tuna and Pasta - Killer Combination!

When I saw this dish on one of my most favoritest blogger's blog I knew immediately that I'd be making it this week for dinner. The favoritest blogger? The extremely talented Patricia of Technicolor Kitchen! The dish? Pasta Shells with Italian Tuna and Artichokes! The verdict? Delish!

Pasta shells w/Italian tuna, spinach, tomato & hearts of palm

Now being me, I hadda fiddle with this just a lil to give it an Italian spin and because of some personal preferences. And how easy it was to add and/or take away from what is a magnificent base recipe for my playing around fun. I had to omit the artichokes, as he won't eat them - so I subbed sliced hearts of palm instead. I had a lovely bag of baby spinach and some grape tomatoes that were screaming to be used so I tossed them in as well.. Ohhhhh God was this dish is a winner!

Granted, you must like canned tuna to dig this dish, because you really taste it. I think that was my favorite part, because to me, Italian tuna in olive oil is a special treat - especially when used in this way where it's one of the main ingredients.

Italian tuna & olive oil

The sauce on it's own was very light and flavorful. It really needed nothing else, but again.. me being me.. I added a handful of Pecorino and a few ladles of the pasta water. It made the sauce just the right kind of creamy while still keeping it light. Delish!

And so it is with great gratitude that I express my thankfulness at being lucky enough to have seen Patricia's post featuring her friend, Terry, who is the author of this recipe. After making a recipe of Patricia's and cross posting about it, this time it was Terry's turn to provide the recipe and well.. Thanks to you too, Terry! :)

Pasta shells w/Italian tuna, spinach, tomato & hearts of palm

Below is my take on this light and super easy pasta dish - as well as my submission to this week's Presto Pasta! hosted by the lovely, Ruth of Once Upon a Feast. =)

Pasta shells w/Italian tuna, spinach, tomato & hearts of palm
Pasta Shells with Italian Tuna, Grape Tomatoes & Baby Spinach
Adapted from the recipe, Pasta Shells with Italian Tuna & Artichokes by Terry & Patricia

2 6 oz. cans imported Italian tuna in olive oil
1 10.5 oz. can of hearts of palm, pre-sliced
ΒΌ cup capers, drained (I had to omit the capers in mine as I couldn't open the damn jar!)
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tsp. olive oil
1 bag of baby spinach
1/2 of carton of grape tomatoes (about 10-15)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 c. of grated Pecorino Romano cheese
12 oz. medium pasta shells

Bring a large pot of water to boil to cook pasta. While water is coming to a boil, in a large enough skillet to accomodate all ingredients (including cooked pasta) saute the garlic in a 2 tsp. of olive oil, over medium low to medium heat, until lightly golden. Add the tuna with the oil, hearts of palm & tomatoes and saute until the tomato skins slightly wrinkle, about 3 minutes.

When water comes to boil, salt it generously, then cook pasta according to package directions, until al dente. Right before your pasta is ready, add the baby spinach to the tuna mixture and fold until the spinach is wilted.

Using a pasta spoon or slotted spoon, transfer the shells and add them to the skillet with the tuna mixture. It's okay if you don't drain the shells completely with each transfer. Alternately, you can drain the shells in a colander, just keep a 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water to make the sauce. Once you've transferred the shells, sprinkle the Pecorino over everything and stir until sauce is creamy. If it's dry, add a little of the pasta water in small amounts, you don't want to use so much water that it washes out the wonderful flavors of this dish. Finish the dish with a sprinkling of black pepper or a few turns of a cracked pepper mill.

This makes enough for 4 servings, or 2 generous servings and a kick-ass lunch the next day! :D

Pasta shells w/Italian tuna, spinach, tomato & hearts of palm

*Note: Patricia and Terry did not cook the tuna mixture, but mixed it in a separate bowl big enough to accomodate the cooked pasta. Once the pasta was done, it was mixed in with the tuna mixture, or as Patricia calls it, the salsa cruda. I decided to saute all my ingredients over med heat so that my tomatoes would cook down a little and to make sure my spinach wilted properly. So either way you want to prepare this dish, you'll get excellent results.

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Comments on "Italian Tuna and Pasta - Killer Combination!"

 

Blogger Ruth Daniels said ... (5/10/2007 8:24 AM) : 

Lis, it looks so wonderful.

Great minds obviously think alike, because we had pasta with tuna last night too!

Thanks so much for being such a great contributor to Presto Pasta Nights.

Check back for the roundup tomorrow.

 

Blogger Rose said ... (5/10/2007 8:51 AM) : 

Ohhh Lis!!!
You don't know how much I want this salad right now and it's only 9AM. I saw this post on Patricia Blogs. Terry gave a good tip about the tuna but I am still looking for this brand even in talian stores and couldn't find it.
SNIFFFF!!! Can I come over for lunch today if you still have some of the pasta salad?? You are just hours away?? Please!! I'll bring the Sicilian!

 

Blogger Laura Rebecca said ... (5/10/2007 9:01 AM) : 

Wow, that looks good! I'm going to have to make that this weekend.

 

Blogger Sara - Piperita said ... (5/10/2007 9:04 AM) : 

Pasta, tuna and tomatoes are so good together!
Its the perfect combination even for a cold pasta salad!

 

Blogger Cheryl said ... (5/10/2007 9:22 AM) : 

I have never had Italian tuna. I am so uncultered.

A beautiful, beautiful pasta dish.

 

Anonymous Terry B said ... (5/10/2007 12:26 PM) : 

Lis--Isn't blogging great? My simple tuna dish traveled from Chicago to Ohio, by way of Brazil. How cool is that? I love what you did with your take on it--the additions all sound tasty, especially the tomatoes.

Rose, keep looking. But any quality tuna packed in olive oil will probably do. In Brazil, Patricia found some from Spain.

 

Blogger Freya and Paul said ... (5/10/2007 2:54 PM) : 

I drooled over this on both Patricia and Terrys blogs and now this! What's a gal to do?? Make it for herself I guess!

 

Blogger Callipygia said ... (5/10/2007 4:36 PM) : 

I just about died the first time I had tuna in olive oil- after all those years of eating it in spring water. Thanks for repostig this- I'll try some version of it too.

 

Blogger Gattina said ... (5/10/2007 4:52 PM) : 

you ladies are awesome!!! The first time I saw Pat made this dish I rushed to get a bib. And now yours, that big juicy & plump tuna flaunting right in front of me, don't you know my pc screen all scratched by a fork!!!
Like you, I'd love to saute the mixture a little bit too :D

 

Blogger Nora B. said ... (5/10/2007 4:56 PM) : 

Looks delicious! And so simple too., esp. using everyday ingredients I have at hand. Thanks for sharing, I can now add something new to my week night dinner repertoire.

 

Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said ... (5/10/2007 7:31 PM) : 

Spinach is my go to ingredient for sooo many recipes. If the recipe calls for spinach, I put in more. If it doesn't call for spinach, I put it in.
Really looks wonderful, you do know how to play around!

 

Anonymous Ellie said ... (5/10/2007 10:06 PM) : 

Gorgeous dish, it looks like a healthy dish with all those vibrant colours!

 

Anonymous Ivonne said ... (5/10/2007 11:28 PM) : 

I love pasta with tuna! Great pics, Lisa!

 

Blogger Arfi Binsted said ... (5/11/2007 1:25 AM) : 

I love the combination color and texture of this salad. They look really fresh and tempting!! detox?? Good for me!

 

Blogger Patricia Scarpin said ... (5/11/2007 1:16 PM) : 

Oh, boy!! I think I'm gonna start singing over the roof tops!! Lis, you've created a monster!! :)

I was so glad when you told me that you had made the recipe, and now you posted the recipe, such an honor!

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

 

Blogger Kelly-Jane said ... (5/11/2007 4:44 PM) : 

That just looks so vibrant and delicious. I'm going through a pasta phase atm :)

 

Blogger JennDZ said ... (5/11/2007 5:35 PM) : 

I love pasta with Tuna - it is the first meal that my fiancee cooked for me, so to me, it is like the ultimate comfort food!

 

Blogger Jasmine said ... (5/12/2007 12:12 AM) : 

This looks so amazing! You've reminded me that I've not made my version of this in a while...

j

 

Anonymous kellypea said ... (5/13/2007 10:58 AM) : 

If this is looking that drooliscious at 7:57 am, then it must be pretty amazing. I'm starving!

 

Blogger Lis said ... (5/13/2007 7:28 PM) : 

Ruth - Yay! I'm nicely surprised at how many like pasta and tune. Terrific!

Rose - You are more than welcome to my house for breakfast, lunch or dinner whenever you want! Are there any Giant Eagle stores up in MI.? If there is, then oddly, the Italian tuna is stocked with the regular brand name tunas and not in the Italian ethnic aisle. Go figger.

LR - Lemme know what ya think. =)

Sara - I couldn't agree more!

Cheryl - Yes apparently you've led such a sheltered life. hahaha!

Terry - And I'm so thankful that it did.. this will become a staple in our house in no time. Thanks!

Freya - Yes Yes! You must!

Callipygia - I can't wait to see your spin, sweetie. xoxo

Gattina - hehehe you make me giggle. Now you must make this for yourself and your hubby!

Nora - My pleasure, thanks so much for stopping by. =)

Tanna - Me too - I loves me my spinach. :D

Ellie muh luv - Thanks sweetie =)

Ivonne - Yay! I'm so happy to hear that!

Arfi - Oh yeah it really was a great healthy meal. =)

Patricia - I can't thank you enough for taking up Terry's challenge! hehe xxoxoxoxo

Kelly-Jane - me too.. for the past 40 years. haha

Jenndz - I know! It certainly was comforting to us as well. =)

J - You must make it right away so I can come drool!

Kelly - har! Glad that I'm not the only one who wouldn't mind a big old plate of tuna & pasta for breakfast. ;)

 

Blogger Kate said ... (5/14/2007 10:07 AM) : 

oh i love this recipe...tuna n pasta ...yummm !ih

 

Blogger Susan said ... (5/16/2007 5:06 PM) : 

My mom swears by good Italian tuna and even sends us some so Jeff can have it. Your dish looks fantastic, and I completely agree about Patricia: she is a gem!

 

Anonymous lorraine@italianfoodies said ... (5/17/2007 3:15 PM) : 

Hey Lisa. I'm definitely with you on the italian tuna in olive oil. Nothing compares to it, snap, we both admitted pasta with Italian tuna to presto pasta night!!

 

Blogger Erin said ... (6/29/2007 7:25 PM) : 

I bought that tuna at Trader Joe's if anyone is looking.

 

Anonymous Anne said ... (9/05/2007 2:06 AM) : 

wow! and from canned tuna? great!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5/13/2011 5:13 PM) : 

Great salad. Why can't I store a copy in Word??

 

Blogger Lis said ... (5/13/2011 6:41 PM) : 

Anon - not sure? I don't have anything set on the blog so that you can't copy/paste.. if you send me your email address, I'll send you a copy in an MSWord .doc :)

Lis
xoxo

 

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