I am pleased to partner with Genova, who makes canned yellowfin tuna, for this post on a canned tuna pasta that I made using their product.
I'm frantically working up all my photos (close to 700!) from my week-long trip to London and Munich. Until then, we will take a brief pause and head on over to my kitchen, where I've actually been cooking A LOT lately!
While I was in Germany, the very first shipment of my summer CSA (community supported agriculture) farm share came in. A weekly farm share is great because it ensure that I eat plenty of vegetables. The element of surprise each week ("what will come in my share today?"), is fun and stretches my creativity as I think up new ways to use all the produce.
I typically end up cooking a lot more during the summer months, sometimes in Herculean efforts to "use up the farm share." In fact, this week I cooked every single day (with the exception of one crazy late night ramen adventure that stretched into the early morning).
Right before I left for Europe, another fun shipment came in - a special treat from Genova. Genova, who makes Mediterranean-style (packed in olive oil) premium tuna sent me a gorgeous gift basket complete with cans of premium yellowfin tuna, olive tapenade, artichokes, a bottle of wine, cheese, crackers, a cute olivewood cheeseboard (or maybe cutting board?) from Sur La Table, and even a book on Mediterranean cooking!
I'm not exactly an expert on Mediterranean cooking, but Bryan loves pasta, and I had tons of gorgeous greens from my farm share.
Inspired by the various ingredients they sent (plus the fact that I was short on time that evening), I whipped up a super fast dinner using about half of the ingredients from the gift basket.
I chopped up TONS of garlic (you can never have too much garlic, ha ha!) and slowly cooked them over super low heat in olive oil.
After about 10 minutes or so (you don't want them to brown!), I added the whole jar of marinated artichokes.
I then opened up the cans of tuna and added them. I was surprised at the quality of the tuna. Maybe I still have visions of the simple cans ("packed in water") that I used to eat growing up - pale, shredded tuna that worked great in tuna salad but would not be chunky enough for a pasta application.
This tuna was definitely different, and changed my internal perception about canned tuna. Not only does it hold up to fancier dishes, I like the fact that it's wild caught (not farmed!) and a sustainable fish. I kept thinking, "hmmm, it's not a bad idea to have a few cans of tuna around for those times when Bryan asks, 'where's the meat?'" In our household fish counts as "meat". I think he really just means protein - aka, please don't just cook the farm share vegetables and call that a meal.
I threw in a bunch of the gorgeous spinach from my farmshare, added a bit of salt and a touch of finishing olive oil, and I was done! The tuna, artichokes, and olive tapenade added plenty of flavor, and I barely had to do anything to make this pasta taste really good.
I am thrilled to be able to give away another gift basket full of Mediterranean goodies (just like the one I got!). To enter, please comment below answering one (or more, or even all if you wish) of the questions:
1) your favorite Mediterranean food(s)
2) your favorite Mediterranean restaurant
2) any fun trips this summer planned?
One entry per person. Giveaway ends in Tuesday, June 23rd at midnight, East Coast Time. If you are interested in trying out the tuna, here is a $1 off coupon.
Update! Congrats to Teresa for winning the Giveaway! Teresa said the following answer:
1. Caprese salad
2. Mamma Maria or Carlo’s Cucina Italiana in Boston
3. I’m heading to Greece for a wedding in a few weeks! Can’t wait for the food!
Thanks for participating!
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 5-10 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 2-3 tablespoons black olive tapenade
- 1 jar artichokes (around 7 oz, packed in oil)
- 2 cans of solid light tuna, packed in olive oil (5 oz cans)
- 2-3 cups spinach leaves
- ½ lb dried pasta
- chili flakes (optional)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. If using dried pasta (or any pasta that has a longer cooking time), cook pasta according to instructions before starting the sauce. Otherwise, wait until the sauce is done before making quick-cooking pasta (e.g., fresh pasta that takes 1-2 minutes to cook).
- Over low heat, cook minced garlic in extra virgin olive oil for about 10 minutes, or until soft
- Add black olive tapenade, artichokes, and tuna. Cook for about 1-2 minutes, or until everything is heated through.
- Add spinach and stir for about 1 minute, or just until the spinach is wilted. Drain the cooked pasta and add the pasta directly to the sauce, adding a tiny bit of pasta water only if needed (use your judgment). Add salt to taste, and optionally chili flakes if you want a bit of spice.
- Please note, the amounts above are very flexible. If you like a saltier pasta with more umami, add more black olive tapenade. If you love vegetables, you can easily increase the amount of spinach. However, if you want to add a lot of spinach, I would advise precooking it in another vessel so it's easier to mix in later.
Disclaimer - this post is sponsored by Genova. I did not pay for the Mediterranean basket of ingredients. All opinions are my own.