Monday, March 10, 2014

I'm Including A Recipe For A Fabulous Dish In This Post. It Is Made Entirely With Things From Your Pantry. I Always Enjoy It When I Can Create A Tasty Dish Using Only Pantry Staples. It Makes Me Feel Very Self-Sufficient - Like I Could Maybe Last A Day Or Two During A Zombie Apocalypse. Which Is Somewhat Comforting.

I've groused recently about the tedium experienced in preparing a family dinner every night of the week.  It's not always an inspired task.  I've opted for cold cereal in the past and, much to my dismay, it has received better reviews than a few dishes I put some actual effort into.  This makes me want to lay on the couch sipping a glass of wine and yelling over my shoulder to tell everyone they can eat whatever it is they can find for dinner.  And good luck, because I didn't get to the grocery store today!

And so, when I come upon a recipe that the family loves and is easy for me to make, I take advantage.  Often this has resulted in an overuse issue and eventually the family reaches a point where they can almost not even manage to swallow another bite of it.  However, there is one dish that has so far avoided the dreaded, 'that again?' death spiral.  I don't even know the name of it, but it's a pasta dish with tuna, so let's call it 'Tuna Pasta'.  It's a recipe my lovely neighbor Susi shared with me several months ago when she noticed that, based upon the goings on at our house, it appeared I have about 15 minutes some days to get dinner on the table.  She was right!

She was given this recipe by an Italian friend who currently lives in South America, so just making it causes me to hum the tune to 'It's A Small World'.  Her friend makes this every couple weeks when she has no time for anything fancy and wants to make something she knows everyone will enjoy.  I find it comforting to know that the dinner conundrum is felt worldwide.

This dish is truly incredible.  Geoff and I chaperoned the Sadie Hawkin's dance this weekend (thankfully we were given the coat check job rather than guarding the doors to the gymnasium like the last dance we worked so our mental scarring was minimal this time) and JD was home with a friend.  We left the boys a check so they could order a pizza.   Turns out, all they ate for dinner was the leftover Tuna Pasta we had in the fridge.  Two 14-year-old boys would rather eat leftovers of this dish than pizza.  Nothing short of amazing.  Here it is:

Tuna Pasta
* Note - all measurements are approximate.  I do a lot of eyeballing when I cook.  I find using tools to get an exact measure slows down the process (and we're usually starving) and makes for more dishes to clean up afterward (hassle).  When I've taken the time to check if my 'eyeballed' measurements are close to the real amounts I need, I'm usually right on the mark.  This is a strange skill, and as is the case with most of my secret talents, almost totally useless.

1 lb. pasta (I like to use spaghetti or linguine)
2 cans tuna in olive oil
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbs. capers
1/4 c. toasted pine nuts
2 tsps. anchovy paste
2 Tbs. Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 c. fresh grated Parmesan (or more if you like it)

Cook the pasta as you would cook pasta normally.  While that bubbles away, add everything else except the Parmesan to a skillet and let it simmer.  When the pasta is ready, drain it and reserve about 1/4 cut of the water.  Put the pasta back in the cooking pot and pour the tuna mixture over it.  Remove the garlic cloves so no one eats them and accuses you of foul play.  Heat the pasta over a low temperature and add a bit of the pasta water or olive oil if you need more moisture.  Turn off the heat and stir in the Parmesan, adding more if you prefer.  Taste for seasonings and serve to a very happy family.

I mentioned on Friday that I'd be diving deeper into the Spring Capsule Wardrobe elements I included in my last post, but I've decided to use Fridays as the designated day for fashion posts.  Fashion Friday, it shall be dubbed.  Until something else comes up.  I can only imagine how the anticipation will build.  I mean, who doesn't want to know what t-shirts I prefer and why?  Good stuff.

Happy Meatless Monday.  We're having French toast with sourdough bread and orange juice, because who can manage to eat anything with syrup on it and not need orange juice afterward.  Few things are more satisfying, agreed?

I'm wearing this:

I found this scarf at Nordstrom Rack.  Target also has cute scarves at very affordable prices.  One cannot have too many scarves, I feel, so finding snazzy ones that don't cost a lot is quite a score.

gratitude:  some inner peace, youth sports, New Zealand accents, simplicity

thanks and love.

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