Adapted from Jools’ favourite Saturday Afternoon Pasta by Jamie Oliver. It’s now my favourite, sorry Jools, and I enjoy it any day of the week; not just Saturday afternoon!
When I need some serious comfort food this is the recipe I turn to. Wiki tells me that the definition of comfort food refers to food that is consumed to achieve some level of improved emotional status. CHECK! It can also be defined as food that brings some form or measure of comfort. CHECK! Sense of wellbeing. CHECK! Or easy satisfaction… oh yeah..CHECK! This pasta is everything you would want in a comfort food. It feels like it is bad for you since it is so satisfying but it is quite nutritious. And as for the easy satisfaction part, this meal can be whipped up in about 20 minutes.
Other than the fact that the cinnamon is the star of this show, I think the thing I like most about this dish is the tomatoes. I can’t get enough of canned tomatoes and San Marzano are my favourite.. you should get some!! I wouldn’t have a problem with opening a can of those babies, heating them on the stove and eating them plain for dinner. Sometimes it’s the most simple things in life that are so good, right up there with mustard sandwiches and chocolate sprinkles on buttered bread (coming soon).
This meal is refreshing and healthy. It’s just as good on the second day, if not better, I even enjoy eating it cold straight from the fridge. I can’t say enough good things about it. It’s no wonder why Jools and I think it’s the best.
Caitlin’s Favourite Tuna Pasta
1 small red onion , peeled and finely chopped
½ tsp red chili powder or some hot pepper flakes
1 level teaspoon cinnamon
1 bunch fresh basil , leaves picked, stalks chopped
1 can good-quality plum tomatoes
1 can good-quality tuna in olive oil, drained and flaked
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ box rigatoni or rotini (2 cups?)
1 lemon , zested and juice
2 cups baby spinach
Small handful freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Heat a splash of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and cook the onion, chili, cinnamon and basil stalks on a
medium heat for 5 minutes until onion has softened. Turn up the heat and add your tomatoes, tuna. Break the tomatoes up using the back of a spoon, then bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes. Adding the spinach in the last few minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the rigatoni in a pot of salted boiling water according to the pack instructions. When al dente, drain the pasta.
Toss the pasta into the tuna and tomato sauce with the roughly torn basil leaves, a glug of olive oil, the lemon zest and juice and Parmesan, and mix together well. Check the seasoning and serve immediately.
Note- Make sure to zest your lemon BEFORE you cut it open to juice it; otherwise you will not enjoy the zesting process.