Sunday, October 11, 2009

so misunderstood

Tuna. Such a misunderstood and underestimated food. It can so be dressed up from the usual sandwich or casserole (which I love, don't get me wrong). But somehow tuna has been labeled as a poor man's food, which I don't think is right! The other day I was mentioning to Blake that I might make tuna pasta for dinner when a friend was nearby and she made a look. You know the look. The "did she really just say ... tuna and pasta together? Such a contradiction of quality" kind of look. So I find it is my responsibility to introduce to you another side of tuna.

It's a low fat, high protein wonder, and if handled properly, not fishy or tinny at all. It is time, people! Let us go on a quest for a higher standard for tuna cuisine! So to all of you friend out there who have a passion for food, please share with me your favorite ways to use tuna. In a not so blah way.

Here's one of mine:

Simple Tuna Pasta
serves 4~6

*the key here is to use plenty of lemon juice and zest and parsley. Then you'll completely forget your aversion to what you think tuna tastes like. No fishy, stinky, tinny-ness whatsoever.
1/2 onion, diced small
2~3 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
1 can solid white albacore tuna, drained
1 can petite diced tomatoes
juice of 1/2 lemon (hang on the other half, just in case you want to use it)
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 C super finely minced fresh parsley
1 lb penne
salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Generously salt the water, and boil the pasta to al dente. Reserve some pasta water and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, In a large skillet, heat 1 T olive oil to medium-high. When shimmering, add onions and a little salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until onions are slightly golden. Add garlic and continue to cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tuna and tomatoes, and simmer until tomatoes thicken slightly, about 5 minutes.
  3. Once pasta and sauce are both to this stage, toss them together with the parsley, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Add pasta water to loosen the sauce if necessary, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add remaining lemon juice if you'd like it brighter.
  4. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired.
I can't wait to read all of your favorite tuna recipes!


Megan Tea said...

That looks really great! GO TUNA! AND ONIONS! AND TOMATOES!

Ben and Celeste said...

I love your witty post, ahh, I laughed. Indeed, tuna is underestimated. By me too I realize. Wish I could say I had a great recipe to pass on. Instead I'll have to look back and see what yummy things others post. Thanks for helping expand our horizons Lill :).

Kevin Phair said...

Some people really hate tuna because they're used to it in a can. I hear that tuna out of the pouches is MUCH better and has a much milder flavor. Not so processed and fishy. Either way, I like tuna, especially FRESH tuna!

Brigham and Jenelle said...

I grew up with my mom making what she called tuna chow mein. It consists of 3 celery stalks and .5 a medium onion sauteed in butter. Once softened, add 1-2 cans of cream of chicken soup (depending on how creamy you want it) and either .5 can or a whole can of milk (according to the amount of soup used). Immediately add 2-3 can of drained tuna and 1.5 cups of frozen peas. Heat through. Serve over rice with any toppings you like (peanuts, coconut, soy sauce, etc). It's become one of my fast, nothing really planned recipes. Not including rice cook time, it seriously takes about 10min start to finish and my family loves it. I prefer it with a healthy dose of fresh cracked pepper myself.