From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I was lured into a local market this week by one of their 10 for $10 bargains. Tuna was on sale and I couldn't resist the opportunity to restock the pantry while prices were this low. I love the Italian oil-packed tuna, but I save it for special dishes and tend to rely on domestic varieties for everyday use. I usually keep a supply of the less expensive brands on hand for tuna melts and other more pedestrian entrees, but as I was unpacking my stash I realized the less expensive tuna would also be a wonderful source of protein for a frugal Friday meal. Pasta dishes can be terrific money savers, and if you don't have to watch carbs or calories, they are a wonderful way to feed a family on a limited food budget. Tonight's feature can be table ready in less than 30 minutes and it is nearly foolproof to make. Like many of these quick and inexpensive meals, it helps to have a rhythm as you work your way through the assembly steps. So, like all good cooks, you'll begin by preheating the oven and setting the water to boil. This will give you time to prepare and toast the breadcrumbs, which have a special function here. You'll want to keep them coarse because they add some texture to an otherwise one-note pasta. Be sure to save some pasta water to help sauce the noodles. This dish tends to be dry and you'll need the water to moisten and coat the noodles. The predominant flavors here will be provided by the lemon zest and slivered olives. Unfortunately, this dish does not age well, so make no more than you need for a single meal. I actually cut this recipe in half when there are just two of us at the table. This is a lovely family meal and I do hope you'll give it a try. I've also included a selection of other pasta dishes that would be perfect for a for a frugal Friday meal. First, let's see how tonight's feature is made. Here's the recipe.
Spaghetti with Tuna, Lemon and Bread Crumbs...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Martha Stewart
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
3/4 pound spaghetti
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons slivered Kalamata olives
2 cans (6 ounces each) chunk light tuna in water, drained
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse bread and 1 teaspoon oil until coarse crumbs form. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden, tossing occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes.
2) Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta, and return to pot. Add lemon zest and juice, parsley, olives, and 1 tablespoon oil; toss, adding enough pasta water to coat. Add tuna; toss gently. Serve sprinkled with breadcrumbs. Yield: 4 servings.
Spaghetti on the Cheap
Spaghetti al Limone:
Martha Stewart's Spaghetti 101
Braised Kale with Spaghetti