Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tuna and White Bean Pasta with Bread Crumbs

Jud's mom passed-down a recipe for tuna casserole to the family. It has always been a favorite of Randel and Jud. As I was looking through recipes, I found this one and decided to try it.  It will probably never replace Irene's tuna casserole, but I enjoyed it.  No cream or cheese, so I think it is probably a little healthier than the tried-and-true recipe.  I am giving you the full recipe, but just know that I cut it in 1/2 for Jud and me.  And I still have 1/2 of it left for another day. Rachel Rae from FoodNetwork 

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 flat filet anchovies, optional (I used it and didn't tell Jud; he thinks he doesn't like anchovies)
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 lemons
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1 pound penne or ziti rigate
4 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 (15oz) can white beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans (6oz. each) Italian tuna in oil or water, drained (couldn't find Italian tuna, so just used my regular brand)
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped or 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained, optional
Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in small pan over medium-low heat with anchovies. If using. Melt anchovies into oil until they dissolve. Then add garlic and stir 2 minutes. Add breadcrumbs and stir and cook until deeply golden in color. Stir in zest of 2 lemons, parsley, and crushed red pepper flakes. Turn off heat and transfer ingredients to a bowl.

Heat a large pot of water to boil for pasta

Heat a large skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Add celery, onions, and 2 cloves garlic to the pan and cook until just tender, 5 minutes. Add white beans and rosemary and heat through 2-3 minutes more. Add wine, vermouth or broth, tuna and tomato. Stir 2 minutes then turn off heat.

Just before draining the pasta, add a ladle of starchy cooking water to pan along with the drained pasta, toss to combine. Serve in a shallow bowl with lots of breadcrumbs and a drizzle of oil on top.  I put the tuna in a small dish and topped with the bread crumb mixture and heated in the oven until I had my salad put-together.

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