RECIPE

Hot or Cold Niçoise-Style Tuna Pasta

Transport your guests to the French Riviera with this classic that has been Rachaelized to include pasta.  Serve it hot or cold to suit your schedule.

Ingredients

  • 2 small Yukon Gold or red potatoes
  • 4 large organic eggs
  • Salt
  • A couple small handfuls of thin green beans
  • 1 pound short-cut pasta, such as conchiglie (shells), penne or farfalle (bowties)
  • About 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste or 4 flat anchovy fillets (optional)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup Niçoise olives, chopped
  • 1 small Fresno chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 large shallot, chopped or thinly sliced
  • 2-3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried herbes de provence (half a palmful)
  • 1 jar or can tuna in water or oil (12 ounces), drained and flaked (look for line-caught)
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • A small handful of fresh tarragon leaves, chopped, or basil leaves, torn

Preparation

Place the potatoes and eggs in a medium size pot; cover with water. Bring to a rolling boil, then turn off the heat, cover tightly and let stand for 10 minutes. Remove the eggs (leave the potatoes in the water) and peel them under cold water. Cut into small cubes. Remove the potatoes and dice.


Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the green beans and parboil for 4-5 minutes. Strain out the beans, reserving the pot of water. Shock the beans in cold water, then cut into thirds.


Return the reserved pot of water to a boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water.


While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO, four turns of the pan, over medium heat. Stir in the anchovy paste (or fillets), if using. Add the tomatoes, wine, olives, chili pepper, shallot, garlic and herbes de provence; cover the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, uncovering the pan when the tomatoes start to crack, for about 10 minutes. Lightly crush them with a wooden spoon. Add the tuna, parsley and tarragon (or basil). Stir in the reserved starchy cooking water.


Add the pasta to the sauce and toss well. Add the green beans, potatoes and eggs.

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