Monday, February 18, 2008

Bill's pasta with tuna, cherry tomatoes and olives

Just before Christmas, I acquired a copy of Bill Granger's latest book, Holiday. Bill is one of my favourite TV chefs - he's a good looking guy with excellent teeth who cooks, loves his family and seems genuinely nice, what's not to like? In Holiday, Bill groups his recipes seasonally, so that you make dishes which match the then current season using readily available seasonal produce. I adore his blurbs at the start of each section of the book because they remind me of my own childhood, especially the summer story featuring iceblocks, fish and chips and lazy afternoons by the pool.

For my next round of lunches, I have selected Bill's pasta with tuna, cherry tomatoes and olives. This recipe is perfect for me because it fits the essential criteria of being simple yet flavoursome, filling but not fatty. It also allowed me to try out my new favourite toy, an olive pitter. I hate pitting olives with a knife because it is time-consuming and I always do a hack job, but those days are over - I can now just pop each olive in the pitter, squeeze the handle and ta da - a perfect pitted olive in seconds! (Small things amuse small minds.)

To make Bill's pasta, you need:

400g dried pasta of your choice (Bill chose penne, I chose spirals)
400g drained tinned tuna in springwater
(or if you are Bill, tuna steak diced and cooked in the pan)

2 chopped garlic cloves
2 deseeded and chopped red chillies (I used a single green one)
4 chopped anchovies
1 punnet cherry tomatoes (about 500g)
12 halved pitted black olives (I used Kalamata olives)
a handful of fresh basil leaves (if you remember to buy it or are fortunate enough to grow it ...)
cooking oil
salt and pepper
squirt of lemon juice (my addition)

Cook your pasta as instructed on the packet, drain and set aside.

Cook the garlic, chillies and anchovies in a frypan sprayed lightly with cooking oil until the garlic just colours, then add the tomatoes and olives and cook until the tomatoes have just softened. Combine the hot, drained pasta and tuna in the pan with the rest of the ingredients, squirt in just enough lemon juice to loosen the pasta, season with salt and pepper and add the torn basil leaves. (Sadly, I forgot to buy basil.) Remove from the heat and serve.


Ivy said...

Yummy, all those ingredients we usually have them at home every day in Greece. Must try this soon. Great recipe.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

We love pasta with tuna! It is just such a great simple dish!
Thanks so much for your kind words on my blog. It meant a lot!

Chris said...

This looks deliciously satisfying. I admit, I am not a fan of tuna, but know its good for me. So, I love when I find recipes I think I am going to enjoy. :) Thanks!

Ivy said...

I thought I had sent this yesterday but may be I got confused and forgot.

You have been tagged. Please follow the link.

Cakelaw said...

Hi Ivy, Bill has really great light recipes. He is a whiz at combining fresh, simple flavours into something really good.

Hi Jenn, You deserve it - you have given so much to the food blogging community, especially by encouraging new bloggers (it can be lonely out there in cyberspace!).

Thanks Chris. You may be surprised by the great flavours that you can mix with the tuna to make it less "fishy" tasting - and get all those great omega three oils at the same time!

Cakelaw said...

Hi Ivy, Thanks! You did send the tag yesterday, but because of our time zone differences, the fact that I try to be good and not blog at work, and then I blog at home at crazy hours after I have finished baking (it's now 12.24 in the morning!), I have only just gotten around to responding to your kind tag. It's time I went to bed - otherwise I will fall asleep at my desk!