Monday, July 16, 2012

Pasta with tuna and tomato sauce

We found another recipe I can file as a keeper, even though my husband was initially a skeptic.  (This is a whole category in my cooking repertoire.)

Pasta with tuna and tomato sauce was a super easy and fast recipe that I threw together after post-work errands tonight.  I found the recipe on Punchfork or Pinterest or in a magazine sometime during the past month.  It sounded like a perfect option for the summer.

I did adjust the recipe in a couple of ways - the type of pasta and the amount of basil used.  We had some rigatoni on hand and it was the perfect pasta for this recipe.  My husband went to the garden to get the basil for me.  He's not a big fan of a lot basil, so he brought back just a few leaves.  It ended up being perfect for the amount of flavor - not too overpowering.  I also didn't bother to use the broiler.

In addition to being tasty, this recipe made a nice portion size that yielded some leftovers for lunches this week.

Pasta with tuna and tomato sauce

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 28-ounce can of tomatoes, whole or crushed
1 pound pasta shells
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 6-ounce can tuna packed in olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped or torn
A generous 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Melt the butter in a medium pot on medium heat and add the can of tomatoes, including the juice. If you are using whole canned tomatoes (or fresh ones) crush them as you put them in the pot. Simmer gently, partially covered, for 30 minutes.

Once the sauce is cooking, heat a large pot of well salted water to a strong boil. Add the shell pasta to the boiling water and cook at a vigorous boil, uncovered, until al dente, cooked through but still a bit firm to the bite, which is usually whatever the time specified on the pasta package minus about 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Pour off the excess oil from the tuna and stir the tuna into the tomato sauce. Add the ricotta cheese, and add salt to taste. Turn off the heat. Mix the sauce with the pasta in a large bowl. Mix in the basil.

Pour the pasta into a 2 to 3-quart casserole dish and top with the parmesan cheese. Put under a hot broiler for 4-6 minutes, until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.

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