Gemelli with Tuna and Cherry Tomatoes
Fresh cherry tomatoes are an excellent alternative to canned tomato sauce. All you have to do is toss them in EVOO and garlic until they wrinkle, then toss with warm pasta for a sweet, tart, fresh sauce. –RR
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cans Italian tuna in olive oil (6 ounces each), drained
- 1/2 pint small cherry or grape tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- Coarse salt and black pepper
- 1 pound gemelli pasta – short braids of pasta or other short-cut pastas, such as penne rigate, can be substituted, cooked to al dente in salted water
- 1/3 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped (about 3 handfuls)
- 20 leaves fresh basil leaves, shredded
Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add EVOO, about three turns of the pan in a slow, steady stream, and garlic to the pan. When garlic speaks by sizzling in the EVOO, add tuna and mash into oil with the back of a wooden spoon. Let the tuna sit in the oil for 5-10 minutes to infuse the fish flavor into the EVOO and to give the tuna time to break down – it will almost melt into the EVOO.
Raise the flame a bit and add the coarsely chopped tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the tomatoes through, 2 minutes, then add hot, drained pasta that has been cooked to al dente. Add the parsley to the tuna and pasta and toss to combine well and evenly coat pasta. Adjust seasonings. Top pasta with shredded basil and serve.