PASTA WITH TUNA, OLIVES AND CAPERS WITH A LEMON SAUCE.- This is the ideal dish to have on hand in your pantry for that day when you don't know what to make, want something different or a quick dinner. It might be quick and easy but by no means does it skimp on flavor! One of my old reliable menu items....
You can change out the ingredients to suit your budget or pantry. I've made it with fresh Ahi Tuna Steaks or with the canned tuna I got on special at the market, still great. You can pare down the recipe to the bare minimum or add the little goodies I love, in any case it's sure to please and will give you a great change of pace from the old spaghetti sauce and pasta.
To make this dish you will need:
1/2 lb fresh Tuna Steaks or Fillets -or- 2 to 4 cans of Tuna, your choice
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
5-8 garlic coves, peeled and finely chopped or pressed
1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled, sliced and finely chopped
1/8 to 1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, optional
1-2 tsp Basil Flakes, dried
1 to 2 Tbls Capers, drained
1/4 to 1/2 cup Green Olives, pimento stuffed or your choice, 3 slices per olive
The juice of 4 fresh lemons (or more), your choice
1/2 to 1 cup, chicken stock
Salt and fresh ground Pepper to taste
3-4 Tbls Olive Oil
1 to 2 Tbls Cornstarch in 1/4 cup cold water, mix before adding, if desired
Fresh Parsley or Basil Leaves, sliced fine for topping
In a large fry pan over medium high heat, add some oil and allow to heat up, add the red pepper flakes and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the onion and fry for 3-4 minutes until clear, then add the ginger and keep frying for 1-2 minutes more. Now add the garlic and stir until fragrant but don't allow it to turn golden, keep stirring all the time. Add the capers, olives, keep stirring 2-3 minutes more and add the Basil.
Now add the Tuna and mix in well before adding the lemon juice and chicken stock. Mix everything in well and then taste to adjust salt level and add the black pepper.
If it's too tart you can add either more stock or a little water. You can add the slurry (cornstarch plus water mix) to thicken the sauce some if you like. Sometimes I like it to be more liquid when you toss the pasta or like tonight I wanted a creamy lemon sauce so I used the slurry. Don't forget cornstarch is potent, so I make the 1/4 cup water + 2 Tbls of cornstarch mixture and begin adding half if I want to be sure it wont get too thick but if it gets thick, no worries, add stock / water and mix until you get the consistency you want. Taste it because the extra liquid will affect the salt level.
Have the water to cook the pasta with the salt and boiling so you can be ready once your sauce is. This is why you use a large pan, so the pasta can be placed into the sauce and not the other way around to toss and cover well. Once this is done, serve and done! Enjoy!
NOTE: You can also add or change ingredients. Like make Garlic Butter Sauce or add wine
instead, add other vegetables like broccoli, kale, green beans, cherry tomatoes, peas, asparagus, spinach, etc. Change the tuna for fish fillets, shrimp, chicken, etc. Make it vegetarian, vegan, your choice.