Not Your Mom’s Tuna Surprise

It seems that everyone has a fond (or not so fond) memory of a tuna “surprise”  from their childhood.  My version is a riff on a recipe I saw while watching Jacques Pepin on PBS.  This is a really fluid recipe- substitute what you have on hand for a quick and easy mid-week meal

Here’s what you’ll need: (This is measured to feed two- so scale up if you have more to feed)

1 can tuna (solid canned tuna-not the chunk)

1/2 Fennel blub thinly sliced

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped walnuts (Jacques used pine-nuts (a lot of them)- I am not on a pine nut budget)

1/4 a green bell pepper- thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic- minced

1 pinch of red-pepper flakes

1/2 pound orechette pasta (these are the little shelled shaped pasta)

Parmesan cheese for grating

parsley for garnish (if you’re feeling fancy)

To make

1) Slice your onion into thin half moons while you preheat olive oil in a large skillet.  Place a large pot of salted water on to boil for your pasta.

2)Add the onion-cook until translucent and add your walnuts.  In the meantime start slicing your other vegetables.

3) Once the nuts have started to toast add the fennel, pepper and garlic.  Flip the contents of the skillet so the nuts are on top and don’t burn.  Cover and cook until the fennel is softened.  In the meantime your pasta should be cooking.

4) Add your drained tuna to your skillet of vegetables. Add a ladle full of pasta water to help make the “sauce”.

5) Once the pasta is done- drain and add to your skillet.  Mix and top with grated Parmesan cheese and parsley.

I've always enjoyed making a mess in the kitchen. As a small child I used to sneak into the kitchen to make "rabbit stew" (this consisted of emptying my mom's spices into a large pot of water. Yeah, I was a great kid.) These days I spend my time in the kitchen cobbling together "what-ever-the-heck-you've-got casserole", pushing ethnic-inspired food on my husband and occasionally being called upon to feed the in-laws. I hope you enjoy trying these recipes in your own kitchen. Make sure you let me know what you like! If you want to find me elsewhere on the web- well good luck with that! I'm a baby blogger- this is my first foray into blog land (so let me know how I'm doing!). In real life I can often be found lurking amongst the stacks at local bookstores and libraries sipping on diet pepsi.

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