Sunday, 12 August 2012

Tuna arrabbiata pasta gratin

We go away tomorrow, so stocks tonight were low, very low. This meal I consider to be very much a store cupboard meal. I used half a packet of large shell shaped pasta which has been hanging around in my cupboard for at least a year, maybe even two.  If I did this again I would use pasta penne. As usual I find a recipe, realise I am missing half the ingredients but stick some other things in instead. I used red onion instead of peppers and didn't have any olives (very unusual for me). I used up some ricotta cheese by just dolloping on some spoonfuls before I sprinkled on the parmesan and breadcrumbs. I stuck mine in the oven for about 20 mins to cook on 180C. I won't be posting anything for a while as I'm off on my holidays. Hopefully I'll get some inspiration from restaurants in Paris. This recipe is from good old BBC Goodfood.

Serves 4
1 tsp olive oil
1 red and 1 yellow pepper , deseeded and sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
pinch crushed dried chillies
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
50g mixed pitted olives, whole or roughly chopped (optional)
pinch caster sugar
250g wholemeal pasta shapes (this is for the healthy option)
2 x 200g cans tuna in spring water, drained and flaked
25g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
2 tbsp grated Parmesan

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the peppers for about 5 mins until starting to caramelise. Add the garlic and chillies, cook for 30 secs, then tip in the tomatoes and olives (if using). Season, add a pinch of sugar, bring to the boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 10 mins.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to pack instructions. Heat the grill. Drain the pasta and mix into the tomato sauce, along with the tuna. Tip into a large ovenproof dish. Mix the breadcrumbs and Parmesan together and scatter over the top. Grill for 3-4 mins or until the topping is crisp and golden. Serve with a green salad, if you like.

Make it veggie: Spicy pepper pasta gratin

Fry an extra red and yellow pepper as before, and add an extra 1-2 pinches chilli flakes to the sauce. Stir in 1 tbsp drained capers instead of the tuna with the pasta, and top with the breadcrumbs mixed with 2 tbsp grated Parmesan and 1 tbsp pine nuts.

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