Some might feel the need to travel to an exotic location, climb to the top of a mountain and find out from the guru who lives there that life is a wheel and what goes around comes around. I learned that lesson growing up by sitting down to dinner.
The mis en place, appealing to my inner OCD self.
Sunday was chipped beef on white bread eaten on TV trays while we watched Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color. Monday was some form of hamburger, whether patty, meatloaf or cooked with rice and tomatoes and called Spanish. Friday was tuna casserole made with the glue that held so many mothers' culinary universe together, Campbell's cream of mushroom soup.
Around here it's not quite that predictable, but there are dishes that make a regular appearance on our dinner table. So when I'm not feeling particularly creative, like my mother I boil water for pasta and open a can of tuna. But instead of reaching for the Campbell's, I sauté a little garlic, toss in some lemon zest and capers, sprinkle on some parmesan and, like Mom, call it dinner.
Pasta al Tonno
Adapted from "The Top One Hundred Pasta Sauces"by Diane Seed
1 lb. dried pasta
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
1 6-oz. can tuna, drained
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp. small capers
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Zest of 1 lemon
4 Tbsp. chopped parsley
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. parmesan cheese
Boil water for pasta. Add salt and pasta and cook till al dente.
While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in medium skillet and sauté garlic briefly. Add walnuts, tuna, capers and Worcestershire sauce and sauté till warm. Turn off heat and stir in lemon zest, parsley, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. When pasta is done, drain off water, place in bowl and pour tuna mixture over top. Sprinkle with 1/4 c. of parmesan, reserving remainder to add at the table.