Bought Italian Tuna packed in oil - now what?
Reading more and more about the "greatness" of imported Italian tuna packed in oil, I bought a jar a month or so ago and into the pantry it went. It's a 5 oz (140 g) jar with 4 planks of tuna, each about 1x1x4 inches and maybe some smaller pieces in the middle.
I keep seeing it and think "Greek salad" only to argue "how boring is that?".
So what suggestions have you? I don't mind having to buy 3 or 4 add'l (perhaps specialty) ingredients, but would prefer them not be so specialized or in such quantity that they may be a one time use with more wasted than not. Since I want to enjoy the quality of the tuna, I'd prefer it not be overladen with an overpowering marinade or sauce. Maybe the salad is the way to go?
On hand, I have fresh herbs, feta cheese, a wonderful olive oil, roasted peppers, capers, olives (not Kalamata) and probably a few other items traditionally found in Italian/Greek foods.
Try this -
8 oz. long fusilli
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jar roasted red peppers, in strips
6 oz. can imported tuna in olive oil
pinch red pepper flakes
2 tsp. lemon peel
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Cook the fusilli, drain, and place in large bowl.
While the pasta in cooking, heat the olive oil in a skillet. Sauté onion until soft, and add garlic, roasted peppers, tuna, pepper flakes, lemon rind, pepper, salt and lemon juice. Cook several minutes more, until everything is hot. Garnish with parsley, and serve over pasta.
BTW, I usually make sure,when I buy Italian tuna in oil, to read the label and make sure it is packed in olive oil. Some manufacturers cheap out and use any oil they have.
Simple tomato sauce is always good. I rub a serving bowl (or bowls) with a cut clove of garlic and put the tuna with some (okay, all, but that's just me) of the oil. Grate the zest of one lemon, juice it into the bowl as well. Add some capers, loads of chopped parsley and mix together. Sometimes, a pinch of dried chile flakes. You can make it pretty uniform and smooth or leave it pretty chunky. Then I tip in some just-cooked pasta (about 1/3 of a box. I like mostly meat in the pasta), steaming straight out of the colander and toss with a bit of the pasta water.
simple doesn't necessarily mean boring, and with such a great ingredient you don't want to do too much to it anyway. most people use it in salad, simple pasta dishes or tonnato sauce. salad is one of my favorite ways to enjoy it because you can really allow the tuna to be the star of the dish. i usually use it in a Nicoise or white bean (Cannellini) salad.
some other ideas here:
Marinate some chopped red or sweet onion in red wine vinegar for 15 minutes or so, then drain off most of vinegar and mix the marinated onions with drained, rinsed cannellini beans, sea or kosher salt, pepper and/or pepper flakes and some of your wonderful olive oil. Put bean mixture on a bed of arugula or other nice greens and flake tuna on top. A few nice cherry or grape tomatoes and/or olives around the edge would be nice. One of my favorite hot weather meals!