27 January 2010

A Recipe for Salsa di Tonno e Crema

Salsa di Tonno e Crema

I have been planning a trip to Italy for years now and although this dream vacation is still only in the planning stages nothing says Italy like its food, and nothing says Italian food like pasta!!! The Italian cuisine is rich and varied in all its aspects, but pasta has been its pride and glory through much of its history. When Italians emigrated, settling throughout the New World, they brought their pasta with them and it has found its way into everyone's life style, a worldwide comfort food that today we take for granted. The origins of pasta are as tangled, however, as spaghetti tossed in a bowl.


No matter what it's history and who claims it as their own there is little doubt that pasta has become an every day staple. Under Italian law, dry pasta (pasta secca) can only be made from durum wheat flour or durum wheat semolina. Durum flour and durum semolina have a yellow tinge in color and connoisseurs agree that Italian dry pasta manufactures’ products are superior in taste. Did you know that some use hard durum flour from Canada? Once you taste quality dried pasta, it will be very hard for you to return to the industrially produced alternatives. It’s not just for flavour, but the firm, rough texture puts it way out in front and actually helps you to achieve that al dente ‘firm to the teeth’ texture that is the mark of well-cooked pasta. Poor quality often ends up sticky and soggy.


Pasta is high in nutrients so I have stopped neglecting pasta and try and join in on the fun whenever possible over at Presto Pasta Nights. This is the brainstorm of Ruth over at Once Upon a Feast who celebrates pasta every week. The event is being hosted this week by Chaya of Sweet and Savory . Head over to Chaya's site on Friday for the round-up of delicious pasta dishes.

I became an Italian food goddess when I realized the following. Fresh vegetables of the season + pasta = one fabulous taste of Italy. Here in Canada during the winter months fresh garden vegetables are not available but canned ingredients are canned at the peak of freshness. This is a tasty pasta dish that whips ups in minutes. It is based on a dish from Canadian Chef David Rocco. As David says, "The next time someone in your household wants to order pizza make a bet with them. They order a pizza and you make this pasta. See which one is ready first....and which tastes better".

**Salsa di Tonno e Crema (Tomato Cream with Tuna)**

4 tablespoons (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
8 large sun dried tomatoes, chopped
12 black olives, pitted
200g (7 oz) canned tuna
2 cups (470 mL) tomato sauce 
1/2 cup (120 mL) 35% whipping cream
Bunch of Italian parsley, finely chopped

Cook your pasta until al dente. While it is cooking make the sauce. Heat olive oil in a saucepan. Add garlic, sun dried tomatoes and black olives. Cook until garlic turns golden in colour.

Pour in tomato sauce and cook for a few minutes. Drain the canned tuna and add it to the sauce. Cook for an additional minute.

Add the whipping cream and cook all together on high heat until just before the sauce begins to boil.

Drain your pasta, reserving 1/2 cup (125 mL) or so of the cooking water. Add cooked penne (just before the al dente stage) and a little bit of the reserved cooking water to help bind everything together.  Cooking directly in the sauce for an additional minute. At this point you may want to add another 1/2 cup (125 mL) of cream. Just make sure you cook the pasta long enough to let the cream reduce and thicken up the sauce.

Sprinkle parsley and drizzle with the best extra virgin olive oil available. Serve immediately.

Per 4 persone

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

38 comments:

  1. This recipe comes in the nick of time as I have some tuna and black olives left over from making tapƩnade and was wondering what to do with them! Thanks for a great idea!

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  2. This is my kind of pasta dish! Love me some penne and the sauce is divine.

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  3. What a great post celebrating the wonders of pasta. I make a similar dish but without the cream...must try this now!

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  4. I love it. Look absolutely divine! xxgloria

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  5. Really appetizing! A pasta dish I'd gobble eagerly!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  6. I have been looking to use tuna in my pasta dishes. this just may be the one. In MN, we're certainly not tripping over fresh produce either! Canned tomatoes rule. Also planning a trip to Italy - 16 months away - but still - 16 months of fun dreaming of it.

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  7. This reminds me of a dish here called that has a creamy tuna sauce that goes on top of cooked beef. This sounds like a great combo as well.

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  8. Thats a fantastic meal and writeup abt Italy.

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  9. What brand of pasta do you recommend, then. I must admit that when it comes to pasta I always grab the first thing I see on the shelves of the supermarket. I need to get better educated when it comes to pasta!

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  10. De Ceccho, Barilla, Del Verde are highly recommended brands of Italian pastas. We have several Italian/Mediterranean grocers in town. I suggest just looking at the ingredients on the package and purchasing pasta made with durum or semolina wheat for a quality product.

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  11. This sounds delicious. It's amazing how quickly you can make a wonderful dinner when pasta is the star!

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  12. Wonderful pasta, I love it! I really must remember to use tuna more often.

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  13. Dream vacations are wonderful aren't they? So is your pasta. When will my diet be over!
    Sam

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  14. It's true, the best sauces are the quick sauces. I like that some cream is added here. It would reduce that slight, dry tuna taste.

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  15. you say 'sun-dried tomatoes' and i say 'where do i sign up?'. i love those things. and i, too, have always wanted to visit italy in person, but the next best thing is going there in spirit with the help of some good ol' pasta. :)

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  16. Pasta is definitely the one thing I could never stop eating. Ever. It's perfect for a quick weeknight meal but it can also be rich and gourmet when it wants to.

    I love this dish. So simple and yet so full of flavor.

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  17. I am definitely drooling here! Not only does this sound perfectly delicious, your photo is spectacular. I love the platter and the setting, feels like it's taken in some Italian garden on a sunny day.

    Thanks so much for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights , and btw...can I come with you on your trip to Italy? Pleasssse.

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  18. Looks delicious, Val. I always say with past in cupboard, there's always a meal at the ready and it doesn't have to be elaborate. Sometimes the most simple are the best. Love the quote by the Canadian chef. Fun.

    Ben - Try Barilla pasta.

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  19. Oh my gosh, you're going to Italy? When? Take me with you? ;)

    The more & more I see of your recipes, the more I'd love to come to your house for dinner. While Canada may be a bit of a drive, at least your blog allows me to savor these recipes at home!

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  20. Tomato-cream sauces are my absolute favorite for pastas. They are that perfect balance of simple & indulgent. Yum.

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  21. With that kinda cooking you will soon be seen as one Italian Mama!!! It looks insanely good!!!

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  22. Yum - this has transported me to Italy.

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  23. I love this dish and it is easy enough to cook even when the baby is awake!

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  24. What a great pasta dish for PPN! I really wish we could all get together for a REAL PPN where we can sample all the pasta... wouldn't that be fun!

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  25. I love pasta and how versatile it is. Adding protein and you have a meal. Check my blog for a gift!

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  26. Oh, whipping cream...I'm in.

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  27. I love pasta with tuna! And the best thing is, when I make it (which I do often) I get to eat it all - mon mari does not share this love.

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  28. This looks fabulous! My favorite kind of pasta is one with a tomato cream sauce. I havn't found one to make at home that I like enough. Maybe this is it!

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  29. I wish I could take a swan dive into that first picture. Yum! Fast, delicious, with whipping cream? I'm hooked.

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  30. Wow, Gorgeous! We must be on the same wavelength - I just ate pretty much this for breakfast. Seriously, try it. Left over pasta, a few olive oil soaked sun dried tomatoes, black olives, and As Do Mar tuna. What a way to start a DAY!

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  31. I must add this to my list to make. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe with Presto Pasta Night.

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  32. This looks fantastic, Val, and I can't wait to try it. Do you use oil or water packed tuna? Does it make any difference?

    This is on my menu for the weekend. Thanks.

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  33. My husband would love this dish - I am not a huge fan of tuna, so it rarely makes an appearance!

    I'll have to make this for him - thanks!

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  34. Italy! That will be such an excellent trip! Thanks for all of the great pasta info. Your recipe looks so very creamy and delicious!

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  35. Now I'm craving a big bowl of pasta.

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  36. Pasta doesn't always look that photogenic - but I could dive right into that, and I can almost taste it from here! So simple, yet so very tasty...

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  37. The tuna is a nice addition. Beautiful dish!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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