Tuna with Whole Wheat Rigatoni

September 12, 2011

Arriving home late from Washington, DC, a few weeks ago, I did not want to cook up a production for dinner, so I took a quick survey of my pantry and found a can of tuna in olive oil. I had a half pound package of whole wheat rigatoni that looked lonely. I opened the fridge, and there were some sugar snap peas that my husband had picked in the garden and a tiny fresh hot red pepper. On the frig door was a half bottle of white wine. Might as well.

Now my mind was racing as to what kind of sauce to make. I grabbed an onion, a couple of cloves of garlic and ran out the back door to pick a handful of parsley. Back inside I reached for some sun dried tomatoes I had put up last summer and some dried oregano. Then I remembered the capers in brine. Good thing because it makes this sauce sing. It was perfect.

Tuna with Whole Wheat Rigatoni

Serves 2-4 (depending on how hungry you are)

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tiny hot red pepper (or a smaller amount if you are timid)
3 or 4 sprigs fresh Italian flat leaf parlsey, stemmed
1 1/2 cups dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio or Soave
1 can good quality chunked tuna in olive oil
1 cup sugar snap peas or shelled peas

½ cup coarsely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons capers in brine, drained
1 tablespoon dried oregano
salt and coarse black pepper to taste
½ pound whole wheat rigatoni

Pour the olive oil into a large sauté pan.

Finely mince together by hand or in a mini food processor, the onion, garlic, hot pepper and parsley. Add to the sauté pan with the oil and cook over medium heat until the mixture softens. Turn the heat to high and pour in the wine; bring to a boil and cook for a couple of minutes. Lower the heat to medium and add the tuna, breaking it up with a fork. Add the peas, tomatoes, capers, oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the sauce begins to thicken. Cover and turn off the heat.

Meanwhile cook the rigatoni in 2 quarts of salted water until al dente. Drain and add to the sauté pan. Turn on the heat and mix the rigatoni well in the sauce making sure it is well coated. Serve hot.

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