Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tuna casserole for grown-ups
--Orecchiette with Tuna, Lemon and Caper Sauce

Orecchiette with Tuna, Lemon and Caper Sauce
The Essential Pasta Cookbook Copyright 1998

1 lb orecchiette
1 oz butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 onion, finely chopped
14 oz can tuna in brine, drained I used 3 6-oz cans
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon capers, drained I love capers so I probably added a bit more
¼ teaspoon cayenne, optional I left this out

1. Cook the orecchiette in a large pan of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and return to pan.
2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the butter in a pan and cook the garlic and onion for 1-2 minutes. Add the tuna, lemon juice, cream, half the parsley and the capers. Season with pepper and cayenne, if using. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
3. Add the tuna sauce to the pasta and toss until thoroughly combined. Serve the pasta sprinkled with the remaining chopped fresh parsley.

Serves 4

I had a lovely bag of orecchiette in my cupboard so I immediately grabbed this cookbook, which probably uses the greatest variety of pasta shapes of any of my cookbooks. As soon as I saw this recipe I knew I would be making it. Yes, the cup of cream made me hesitate but I got over it. You might be able to get away with half-and-half or light cream but I really don't think fat-free half-and-half would work. There's only a tablespoon of butter (which you could probably substitute light butter without losing anything) and not really much other fat in this recipe.

I couldn't find a 14-oz can of tuna so I used 3 6-oz cans. Two 6-oz cans would have been sufficient (but the extra can didn't hurt). I used garden-variety chunk light tuna packed in water. You could use the fancier tuna but one reason I'm trying to include a meatless dish in our menu each week is to save a little money.

This went over really well. My husband probably thought it was tuna casserole. He scarfed it down. I had trouble resisting an extra portion myself. I would definitely make this again.

Blast From The Past: Tangy Tuna Melts from April 2007. Wow! I think that's the only other tuna recipe I've made in the past two years.

Question of the Day: Do you like tuna casserole?


Rebel In Ontario said...

I do like Tuna casserole. My Mom used to make it with packaged chicken noodle soup and milk - talk about a salt fix! But this sounds really good and I like the idea of it being a grown up version!

Jennifer said...

No. I don't like any kind of fish.

Wanda said...

YES! I LOOOVE tuna casserole.

Anonymous said...

I like it occasionally. I guess not a favorite, but good.


Bunny_lover said...

No, it always reminds me of the cat food my grandmother always gave her cat. :)

Red Dirt Mummy said...

It's a regular on our dinner table - probably once every two or three weeks. The kids love it, especially Offspring #1, and anything they love that much is a winner in my books! Sometimes I get a bit sick of it and try out different versions but as long as it has tuna and pasta the kids are happy LOL.

ThursdayNext said...

I love tuna casserole, and I plan on trying this recipe. I make it the 50's way with cream of mushroom soup and egg noodles and frozen green beans - mmmm. I also am a huge fan of tuna melts...

. . . said...

i love tuna casserole. but i haven't had it in such a long time . . .

Anonymous said...

Thursday next sound like she has the recipe my mom always made us in the 60's. Love that stuff. With crushed up potato chips on top!