Wednesday 11 July 2012

Neptune's Pasta

My friend Karen recently gave me two cans of remarkably good tuna, caught in the waters off Vancouver Island and processed here too. 

It seemed far too nice a treat to spend on a tuna sandwich, so I used one of the tins to make Neptune’s Pasta.

I’ve been making this pasta for pretty much as long as I’ve been cooking.  The first time I made it, it came together as a means of making a supper from what I had on hand.  I’ve made it many, many times since, with all sorts of different fish. 

I’ve used tinned tuna, salmon – both canned and fresh, - prawns, bits of leftover white fish (cod, halibut, snapper), calamari, clams, and even sardines in this recipe and have yet to find a seafood that doesn’t work well with the basic ingredients.  If it lives in Neptune’s realm, it will taste well in this pasta.

Besides being a wonderful way to stretch a small amount of fish into several servings, Neptune’s Pasta is remarkably fast and simple to make, and quite good for you.  The quantities are easily adaptable, making it a suitable dinner for two or for twelve.  I’m sure it’ll still be in my repertoire years from now.

To make Neptune’s Pasta for the two of us, I used:

  • 1/2 of a 375 gram box of whole wheat spaghettini
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • The zest and juice of a large lemon
  • 1-170 gram tin of tuna
  • A few sprigs of dill

I put a large pot of water on the stove for the pasta. 

While the water was coming to a boil, I grated the zest from the lemon and then ran my knife through it so that it was very finely chopped.  I chopped the dill (it came to about 2 Tablespoons when chopped) and minced the garlic.  When the garlic was very finely chopped I sprinkled the salt over it and let it sit for a couple of minutes.  Once it had rested, I used the side of my knife blade to mash the salt and garlic together into a paste.  

I also drained and rinsed the tuna, turned it out of the tin and broke it up with a fork.

When the water boiled, I added a generous amount of salt (enough to make it taste like the sea), and the spaghettini.  I cooked the spaghettini until it was almost ready but still very al dente.

About 4 minutes into the pasta cooking time, I heated the olive oil in a large pot and then added the lemon peel and garlic.  I cooked them, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds; just long enough to infuse their flavours into the oil. 

I added the tuna, the lemon juice, and about a cup of pasta cooking water to the garlic/lemon mixture. (I'm sorry I don't have a picture of this.  I was working pretty quickly at this point and couldn't stop to set up a photo.)

I drained the spaghettini and added it into the tuna mixture.  The pasta finished cooking in the sauce, soaking up some of the liquid as it cooked.  As soon as it was done, I stirred in the chopped dill and then portioned it into bowls.

I garnished each serving with a little more dill and served it immediately.
This post is linked to the Gallery of Favorites hosted by Premeditated Leftovers and The 21st Century Housewife, to Foodie Friday hosted by Not Your Ordinary Recipes, to the Pity Party hosted by Thirty Handmade Days, to Foodie Fridays hosted by Rattlebridge Farm, to Foodie Friends Friday hosted by Walking on Sunshine, to Strut Your Stuff Saturday at Six Sisters' Stuff, to Weekend Potluck hosted by Sunflower Supper Club, to Think Pink Sunday hosted by Flamingo Toes, to Scrumptious Sunday hosted by Addicted to Recipes, to Makin' You Crave Monday hosted by Mrs. Happy Homemaker, to Craft-O-Maniac Monday hosted by Craft-O-Maniac, to Busy Monday hosted by A Pinch of Joy, to Manic Monday hosted by Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen, to Mix It Up Monday hosted by Flour Me With Love, to Delicious Dish Tuesday hosted by Full Time Mama, Mama Chocolate, and Coping With Frugality, to the Tuesday To Do Party hosted by The Blackberry Vine, to Tip Me Tuesday hosted by Tip Junkie, to Whatcha' Whipped Up Wednesday hosted by DJ's Sugar Shack, to Cast Party Wednesday hosted by Lady Behind the Curtain, to Look What I Made hosted by Creations by Kara, to Wonderful Wednesdays hosted by Printabelle, to Thursday's Treasures hosted by Recipes for my Boys, to Tastetastic Thursday hosted by A Little Nosh, and to Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage.

Gallery of Favorites  

Thirty Handmade Days  



Addicted to Recipes Button, Page button   Mrs Happy Homemaker

  Mixitup   Full Time Mama

 Tuesday To Do Party   Tip Junkie handmade projects

    Cast Party Wednesday

Creations by Kara  

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage


Aunt B said...

Thanks for stopping by to check it out. :)

Anonymous said...

We actually love opening a can of tuna and putting it on top of noodles and a chicken broth with chopped scallions and a dollop of mayo and franks red hot.
When I heard about your recipe I knew I would want to try it. All I need is the dill and I will test this out.. oh and a can of that fancy tuna would be lovely.

Aunt B said...

We do that too: with rice noodles, and sriracha instead of the mayo and Frank's. :)

I very often make this dish the day after a fish dinner. ie: Salmon fillets (which our friends give us during fishing season) for supper one night, and leftover flaked salmon in this dish the next.


Ericka Breedlove said...

This looks like a great, easy to make recipe! Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday!

Aunt B said...

I'm glad you like it. :) Thank you for hosting. I see a lot of great links there this week.

Lois Christensen said...

Looks good and very easy! Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday. Please come back again next week with another great recipe!

Aunt B said...

I'm glad you like it. It's been in my repertoire for a very long time precisely because it is so simple. Big flavour too. :)

From Calculus to Cupcakes said...

Looks tasty and super easy! Thanks for linking up with Foodie Friends Friday!

Aunt B said...

Thank you. I'm glad you like it. It's one of our favourite work day meals. :)

mjskit said...

What a simple and delicious looking pasta! Love all of the garlic! You can't beat it pasta!

Aunt B said...

I agree. Pasta and garlic are good friends. :) Thanks for stopping by to check out the recipe.

April J Harris said...

Simply delicious! I like the lemon and dill flavours in your Neptune's Pasta (great name too!). What a wonderful, healthy and frugal recipe!

Aunt B said...

Thanks April. I'm glad you like it. :) Thank you for hosting. I appreciate the opportunity to share my recipes. said...

This sounds like an excellent hot summer night main dish. I love all of the flavors in it! Thanks for sharing!

Aunt B said...

My pleasure. :) I'm glad you like the recipe. Thanks for stopping by.

Alea Milham said...

I am really excited about this recipe. My daughter has been craving canned tuna, but we don't do many sandwiches.

Aunt B said...

I'm glad you like it Alea, and that it can be useful to you. :)

Miz Helen said...

What a great Pasta dish, it looks delicious! Hope you are having a great summer week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

Aunt B said...

Thank you Miz Helen! That's quite a compliment coming from such an accomplished cook. :) Thanks for hosting. I found lots of great recipes at Full Plate Thursday this week.

Alesha @ Full Time Mama said...

It looks good, though I'd sub chunked chicken for tuna. ;) I bet the dill adds a great flavor!
Always great to see what deliciousness you'll share with us next!

Aunt B said...

Thanks Alesha. I've subbed in just about every kind of seafood there is in this recipe and they all taste good. I'm sure that chicken would too. :) Thanks for hosting. Great links last week. Can't wait to see what this week will bring.