Tuna, toasted walnuts, fresh herbs, garlic-infused olive oil and lemon zest brighten up this quick to make pasta that’s ready almost as soon as the pasta cooks. Vary the fresh herbs according to what you have on hand. This is the kind of dinner I like to make: quick and full of flavor. That’s a real plus when time is short like it’s been the last couple of weeks. I was gone for most of last week, visiting the University of Wyoming with one of my daughters and in a couple of days we’re heading north to move her sister home after she graduates from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. There hasn’t been a lot of time to cook or blog, but I’m hoping to get back on track soon.
Pasta with Tuna, Walnuts, Lemon and Herbs
Serves 4, Adapted from “Quick from Scratch Italian Cookbook”
1 pound (450 grams) rice pasta (spaghetti or linguine)
1/2 cup (120 ml) garlic-infused olive oil
2 cans (7 ounces/198 grams) water-packed albacore tuna, drained
1/4 cup (60 ml) walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped parsley
1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped chives
1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped, fresh thyme
2 teaspoons (10 ml) grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons (10 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon (3.75 ml) salt
1/2 teaspoon (2.5) black pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the pasta. Cook the pasta until done but still firm in the center, about 13 minutes for rice spaghetti. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a skillet, then add the walnuts, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat as soon as the nuts begin to turn golden-brown. Chop the herbs and add them to the skillet, along with the remaining ingredients, using a fork to break up the tuna. When the pasta is done, drain it in a colander, then return it to the pot. Add the oil, walnut and herb mixture and toss with the pasta until thoroughly combined. Serve hot or at room temperature.