Dinner in Minutes
Wednesday, June 23, 2004; Page F03
Tuna, Pasta and Lemon
This recipe originally called for tossing tuna tartare with pasta.
Though we're fond of raw fish, we prefer it with sushi rice. Instead, we seared the tuna briefly on each side then tossed it with the pasta, lemon, chili peppers and basil.
Adapted from "Fast & Fresh," by Louise Pickford (Ryland Peters & Small, 2003):
12 ounces dried fusilli, penne or similarly shaped pasta
8 tablespoons ( 1/2 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
4 to 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Generous pinch seeded, finely chopped fresh chili peppers or crushed red chili peppers (optional)
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 large tuna steak (about 1 pound)
2 large handfuls fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Lemon wedges for servings (optional)
Cook the pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, heat 6 tablespoons of oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chili peppers and lemon zest and saute for 1 more minute. Remove from the heat; cover to keep warm.
In another skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil. Add the tuna and cook, without turning, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and cook to the desired degree of doneness, 1 more minute for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board; set aside to cool slightly. Cut the tuna into thin slices.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Return the pasta to the pot. Add the hot oil mixture, lemon juice to taste, basil, salt and copious amounts of pepper to taste and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and toss gently to combine. If desired, add some of the reserved cooking liquid and/or additional oil. Taste and adjust the amount of chilis, lemon and basil accordingly. Divide the pasta among individual plates and top each portion with tuna. Serve at once, with lemon on the side if desired.
Per serving: 686 calories, 38 gm protein, 66 gm carbohydrates, 29 gm fat, 51 mg cholesterol, 4 gm saturated fat, 118 mg sodium, 2 gm dietary fiber
© 2004 The Washington Post Company