Saturday, August 14, 2010
Here's a pasta sauce recipe I tried out from my David Rocco cookbook. It's called Tuna and Cream Sauce in plain English, or Salsa Di Tonno E Crema in sexy Italian. Hmmm, why does everything sound better in Italian? ;)
I was attracted to the simplicity in ingredients (there's always canned tuna, tomato sauce and cream in my house) and the speed at which it can be whipped up. It's a perfect dish for lazy days, especially weekends.
In the book, David Rocco challenges you to cook a pasta dish with this sauce the next time your friends order a pizza. :) He promises your pasta will be ready way before the pizza boy arrives!
Anyhow, it was a delicious sauce, and I loved how the cream transformed the ordinary tomato puree into a luxurious, velvety blanket for the penne. Also, I didn't even use 1/2 cup cream as stated in the recipe. I only used about 1/4 cup and it was enough to make me go "Mmmmm!". So, if you are cautious about calories, feel free to cut back on some of the cream.
These are your main ingredients. I used my packet of dried cherry tomatoes in place of sun-dried tomatoes.
(largely adapted from David Rocco's Dolce Vita)
- 1lb (500g) penne, fusilli or any short pasta
- 12 black olives, pitted (I omitted, didn't have any)
- 8 large sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 4 tbsps (60ml) extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus extra for drizzling
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cups (500ml) tomato puree or tomato sauce (I used canned whole tomatoes, which I mashed up quite finely with some liquid from the can)
- 1 can (7oz/198g) tuna, packed in oil
- 1/2 cup (125ml) whipping cream (35%)
- 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (I used dried ones instead)
- Salt, to taste
- Sugar (optional), if the tomatoes taste too tart
- Grated parmesan cheese, for sprinkling
1. Cook your pasta until al dente (make sure you salt your pasta water generously). While it's cooking, make the sauce.
2. Roughly chop up the olives and sun-dried tomatoes.
3. Heat the EVOO in a pan, then gently brown the garlic, olives and sun-dried tomatoes. Add the tomato puree or sauce and cook for 5 minutes. Taste test and see if it's too tart (my pet peeve). If it is, a dash of sugar will help counter that. Then in go your tuna and whipping cream. Let this simmer for a few minutes, and it's ready. Taste it and see if it needs salt.
4. Drain your pasta, reserving 1/2 cup (125ml) or so of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the pan of sauce, and pour in a bit of the reserved cooking water to help bind everything together*. Cook for a minute or so on high heat. Once you get a creamy, thick sauce coating the pasta, you're ready to eat. Add the chopped parsley and mix well.
* You don't have to add the entire 1/2 cup. Add enough to get the desired consistency you want.
5. I sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese before serving.
Buon appetito and happy weekend, everyone!