Last week I was able to take part in Slow Food Seattle’s Tuna Canning Workshop. I had so wanted to go to the first one last year (especially after hearing all the raves about the tuna) but work got in the way. Pacific Northwest Tuna is exquisite (I especially love it raw) and I certainly love being able to support a local fisherman so I bought my ticket and reserved my flat of tuna as soon as it was possible.
We spent the day cutting and trimming the tuna, then stuffing it into jars. Each jar then gets a little salt, a little olive oil and a piece of carrot (Jeremy the fisherman’s secret ingredient). Finally the jars are sealed and then placed in a pressure canner for 90 minutes. The tuna comes out bubbling and hot so it has to cool for a few minutes before it get packed up to take home.
I wanted to cook something delicious with my first jar of tuna, but I’ve been a bit of a hermit lately so a trip to the store just didn’t sound like much fun. I decided to turn to a classic Italian dish, Pasta Puttanesca which requires no fresh ingredients.
Puttanesca has a bit of a tawdry history as it is said that it was invented by prostitutes. Some say that it’s aroma was used to lure new patrons while others say that they made it because it was quick and could be cooked entirely from the pantry (since many of them had no refrigeration available). Of course there are others that say it was simply invented by busy Italian women who wanted something quick to serve their family. Whichever version of history you believe, know that this is one of the most delicious pasta dishes around.
You might be tempted to leave the anchovy paste out of this dish but trust me, don’t. It adds a certain salty “what is that” flavor that is essential. I served mine over fresh pasta (just because I’ve been practicing my fresh pasta technique) but dry fettuccine or spaghetti will be just as delicious. Here’s the ingredients.
Start by covering the bottom of a frying pan with olive oil. Once it’s warm add the garlic and anchovy and let it fry for about 30 seconds.
Stir in the tomatoes, black olives, capers and red pepper flakes and let it simmer while the pasta cooks.
When the pasta is almost done, add the tuna to the pan just to warm through.
Finally, drain the pasta then add it to the sauce. Let it cook for another 30 seconds or so then serve.
We had a friend over to enjoy this dinner with us. She took one bite and her eyes got big. “Yum” was all she could say. Salty, spicy and tangy this is the perfect pasta for a cold winter’s night.
- 1-2 Tablespoon olive oil
- 3 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon anchovy paste
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup kalamata olives, sliced in half
- 3 Tablespoon capers
- 1-2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 can good quality oil-packed tuna
- Cover the bottom of a frying pan with olive oil. When it is warm, add the garlic and anchovy and let it fry for about 30 seconds.
- Stir in the tomatoes, black olives, capers and red pepper flakes and let it simmer.
- When the pasta is almost done, add the tuna to the sauce just to warm through.
- When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain it then add it to the sauce. Let it cook for another 30 seconds or so then serve.