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Pasta With Tuna, Peas and Fresh Tomatoes

A community recipe by

Not tested or verified by Nigella.com

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Introduction

It is a rare week in my life that doesn't feature this meal at least once. I eat it after rowing. I eat it before a long, uninterrupted series of lectures. I eat it to ward off a stinging hangover after a night of drunken, student excess. It is cheap, easy and addictive. Note: For some reason - perhaps inspired by the famously successful marriage between linguini and seafood - I almost always use spaghetti or some other long, thin Italian noodle. However, the relatively chunky nature of the sauce makes it equally suitable for a shorter, fatter pasta vehicle; penne or fusilli, for instance. You decide.

It is a rare week in my life that doesn't feature this meal at least once. I eat it after rowing. I eat it before a long, uninterrupted series of lectures. I eat it to ward off a stinging hangover after a night of drunken, student excess. It is cheap, easy and addictive. Note: For some reason - perhaps inspired by the famously successful marriage between linguini and seafood - I almost always use spaghetti or some other long, thin Italian noodle. However, the relatively chunky nature of the sauce makes it equally suitable for a shorter, fatter pasta vehicle; penne or fusilli, for instance. You decide.

Ingredients

Serves: 1-4

Metric Cups
  • pasta
  • 1 handful pancetta (or bacon, cubed - more if you want)
  • 1 onion (chopped finely but not precisely)
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • olive oil (the chilli-infused stuff is wonderful here)
  • salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)
  • sugar (a few pinches)
  • 5 medium tomatoes
  • 300 grams frozen peas (though I often use far more than this because I am something of a pea-addict)
  • 1 tin tuna (the standard size)
  • parmesan cheese (yes, even with fish - it's unorthodox, totally un-Italian but I always use it unapologetically because it's yummy)
  • pasta
  • 1 handful pancetta (or bacon, cubed - more if you want)
  • 1 onion (chopped finely but not precisely)
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • olive oil (the chilli-infused stuff is wonderful here)
  • salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)
  • sugar (a few pinches)
  • 5 medium tomatoes
  • 10⅗ ounces frozen peas (though I often use far more than this because I am something of a pea-addict)
  • 1 tin tuna (the standard size)
  • parmesan cheese (yes, even with fish - it's unorthodox, totally un-Italian but I always use it unapologetically because it's yummy)

Method

Pasta With Tuna, Peas and Fresh Tomatoes is a community recipe submitted by CamFoodie and has not been tested by Nigella.com so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe.

  • Put a large pan of salted water on to boil.
  • Dry fry the pancetta or bacon in a wide frying pan until crisp and energetically dancing in its own rendered fat. To this fat, add a generous slug of the olive oil and the chopped onions. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar (trust me on this). Add the whole garlic cloves, stir and cover, checking and prodding occasionally until the onions are nearly transparent - about 10-12 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, ºCore' the tomatoes (by which I mean, remove the spiky bit that runs through the middle, top part of the fruit) and score the skin on the bottom in crosses. Dunk them for thirty seconds in the boiling water, fish out and transfer them to a bowl filled with iced water. Leave a minute, then remove the skins. They'll slip off easily. Chop roughly and chuck the whole, juicy mess into a bowl large enough to accommodate the pasta when it's ready. Sprinkle with a little more salt and sugar, stir and leave.
  • Return your attention to the cooking onions. Remove the garlic and smoosh it into a paste with the flat surface of a knife on a chopping board. Return it to the pan.
  • Put the pasta on to cook (in the tomato-blanching water), being careful not to let it go past the al dente stage.
  • Boil up a little bit of water for the peas. Season the water lightly with salt and sugar (again, trust me - the sugar brings out the natural sweetness of the peas) and cook them for no more than three minutes.
  • Drain the pasta, peas and tuna.
  • Mix the onions, tuna, tomatoes, peas and pasta. Add a little more oil if you think it needs it. Serve with a grating of parmesan. Eat gluttonously. Serves 1 (but only if you share my gargantuan appetite) to 4. Really, it depends how much pasta you cook. But then, I've cooked a whole packet of pasta meant for six and polished off the lot.
  • Put a large pan of salted water on to boil.
  • Dry fry the pancetta or bacon in a wide frying pan until crisp and energetically dancing in its own rendered fat. To this fat, add a generous slug of the olive oil and the chopped onions. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar (trust me on this). Add the whole garlic cloves, stir and cover, checking and prodding occasionally until the onions are nearly transparent - about 10-12 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, ºCore' the tomatoes (by which I mean, remove the spiky bit that runs through the middle, top part of the fruit) and score the skin on the bottom in crosses. Dunk them for thirty seconds in the boiling water, fish out and transfer them to a bowl filled with iced water. Leave a minute, then remove the skins. They'll slip off easily. Chop roughly and chuck the whole, juicy mess into a bowl large enough to accommodate the pasta when it's ready. Sprinkle with a little more salt and sugar, stir and leave.
  • Return your attention to the cooking onions. Remove the garlic and smoosh it into a paste with the flat surface of a knife on a chopping board. Return it to the pan.
  • Put the pasta on to cook (in the tomato-blanching water), being careful not to let it go past the al dente stage.
  • Boil up a little bit of water for the peas. Season the water lightly with salt and sugar (again, trust me - the sugar brings out the natural sweetness of the peas) and cook them for no more than three minutes.
  • Drain the pasta, peas and tuna.
  • Mix the onions, tuna, tomatoes, peas and pasta. Add a little more oil if you think it needs it. Serve with a grating of parmesan. Eat gluttonously. Serves 1 (but only if you share my gargantuan appetite) to 4. Really, it depends how much pasta you cook. But then, I've cooked a whole packet of pasta meant for six and polished off the lot.
  • Tell us what you think