I was fooling around the other day because I wanted to do something with garbanzos which I just love. I had a can of Italian style tuna and a few other interesting things so this is what I came up with.
1 can tuna, Italian style with olive oil
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1/4 cup oil-packed ripe olives, pitted and quartered
3 or 4 leaves fresh basil, cut in chiffonade
2 cup Roma tomatoes
1 - 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, very thinly sliced
1/2 - 1 cup miniature penne, ditalini or other small pasta, uncooked
salt & pepper
Place tuna with the oil in a large bowl, breaking up large pieces. Add the well-drained garbanzos, the olive pieces and the basil. Set aside.
Meanwhile, dice tomato into aboutr 1/4" pieces and place them in a sieve over a bowl to collect the juices.
In a small sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oil to coat bottom. Put uncooked pasta in the pan, stirring to coat with oil. Add onion and garlic, continuing to stir. Pour on the tomato juice that has collected, retaining tomatoes in the sieve and replacing it over the bowl to collect any additional juices. Add a good pinch of salt and several turns of freshly ground pepper to the pan. Stir while the liquid bubbles gently adjusting the heat up if necessary. Using Clotilde's risotto method, continue adding any additional tomato juices and boiling water to the pan and stirring until the pasta is cooked. Cooked pasta will have significantly increased in size, lost a good bit of its yellow color and have a pleasant soft texture.
Pour pasta over tuna in the bowl and toss to combine. Place in fridge to cool and allow flavors to blend. Check cooled salad for seasonings and add salt & pepper or additional basil as necessary.
Serve cold on lettuce leaves or in a hollowed tomato.
Nice variation on tuna salad which will be especially appealing in summer because there's no mayo. _________________ God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny. -- Garrison Keillor
Posted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 1:14 am Post subject: Med Tuna Salad
Very fine recipe! Brings back memories of when I studied culinary stuff in Sicily and Malta. My Pappa would look at this recipe and change some things, which might bring this recipe a little closer to Nona's...
1. Garlic, I was told, is a subtle, sparse tool in the kitchen. My Nona cooked like the round, pearled-skin woman she was. Soft. Casual. No jerky, rough movements in the kitchen. That same style should be used when employing the use of garlic. Better yet, soften it in the oven, taking the edge off it or bringing out the nutty sweetness. Or, use a shallot instead or merely sharpen the taste at the end with some chopped chives fresh from the garden.
2. Romas are for cooking down. All the Italian women in my family (grandmother is from Sicily and grandfather from Milano) added their tomatoes at the last minute straight from the garden when the flesh was still warm and the seeds were actually mellow and not bitter. Again, work this salad like an old Italian woman...add the olive oil at the end and let it drip where it may, be soft, gentle, and your Med tuna salad will come more alive than you ever imagined.
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