It might seem like Sarah and I are always cooking meals that are slow cooking, that wile away afternoons, meals that spend hours on the stove as if we always have long afternoons to wile away. We are most often coming home late, starving and wanting something to eat that is very instant. I need a dinner that is ready, say ten minutes from when I’ve taken off my bicycle helmet and flung my bag and jacket to the floor.
This meal is as instant as it gets without ordering out for food that comes in a plastic takeaway container and it’s something that Sarah and I eat every week and have eaten for years, out of sheer hungry necessity. We always have spaghetti, anchovies and tins of tuna stocked up from the Mediterranean supermarket and there is usually a bag tomatoes and a bunch of parsley from the market in the fridge. The preparation takes only the time it takes to boil the pasta. Chop the ingredients as the water gets to boiling point. It is important that the sauce is ready at the same time as the pasta so all the ingredients are still fresh and vital.
Maybe you feel snobbish about using a tin of tuna? It’s important to use good quality tuna in oil. When I was little choosing tuna was all about dolphin safe, but they don’t seem to make such a big deal of it nowadays, and this was before I knew that dolphins were ocean-y hedonists that were partial to non-consensual sex. But essentially this pasta is all about making a simple flavour base by flavouring the oil. Leave out the tuna and anchovies if you want – or if you’re vegetarian.
It’s quicker and easier than ordering take away, we promise.
Tuna Pasta (Serves Two)
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 anchovy fillets and a dash of oil from the jar
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 185g tin good quality tuna in oil
good quality sea salt
large handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Put the salted water for the pasta on to boil, and heat the oil in a small fry pan to hot, but not smoking.
Put your pasta in when your pot of water is boiling.
Cook the onion gently and when reaching a soft stage add the garlic and anchovy.
Turn the heat down a bit and stir until the anchovies fall apart in the oil. Make sure the garlic doesn’t brown.
When the anchovies have disintegrated, add the tomatoes and the tin of tuna. I like keeping the tuna quite chunky so don’t stir too vigorously if you do too.
Shake the pan a little and let the tomatoes soften.
Romy and I LOVE salt, so we add a lot here, but season to taste. Add the parsley. You can finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon too if you have any around.
When the pasta is done, drain and add to the pan, gently stirring until it is glistening with oil.
Serve and enjoy!