Garlic Olive Oil Pasta with Tuna and Tomatoes

pasta olive oil final

Sometimes you need something simple, yet satisfying. This is one of those dishes. A perfect recipe for spring, this dish is light and refreshing. The key ingredient is canned tuna stored in olive oil, which gives this recipe a beautiful saltiness that makes this dish so easy to devour.

Hopefully the idea of canned tuna doesn’t scare anyone off, but I promise, this is much more elevated than the tuna salad or casserole that gave it the bad reputation. The key here is that it is stored in olive oil, not water. This olive oil adds depth of flavor and acts as a perfect host to the pile of garlic that I added to give some savory to this dish.

To balance out the saltiness, I included fresh cherry tomatoes for their acidity and brightness. They are added right before serving so that they warm up enough to just slightly burst, making every bite juicy and tinge sweet.

Now, let’s get started:

 

Garlic Olive Oil Pasta with Tuna and Tomatoes

Makes 2 servings

Prep time: 5 minutes | Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 5 oz. can of tuna, stored in olive oil
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • 5 bundles dried squid ink pasta (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • Drizzle extra virgin olive oil for garnish
  • Salt to taste

Step 1: Heat enough water to cook the pasta, add a teaspoon of salt. When boiling, add pasta and cook until al dente.

Step 2: Heat 3 tbs olive oil in a frying pan on medium high heat. Add garlic, and cook until they start to crisp up and become golden.

Step 3: Add the tuna and any leftover olive oil from the can. Break into bite-size pieces and cook for 3 minutes. Add the dried oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt to taste. Stir to combine.

Step 4: Add the tomatoes. Cook until they start to blister and burst open, about 5 minutes. Crush half the tomatoes so they release their juice. Stir in the reserved pasta water to make a sauce.

Step 5: Add the pasta and coat everything with the sauce. Drizzle with olive oil, and it’s ready to serve.

ingredients final

bite mosaic

pasta final 3 final

 

 

Turkey Dumplings with Scallion and Fresh Ginger

turkey dumpling

So it has been a long while since I have posted. Life caught up with me in the form of a move, work, and a few freelance assignments. However I am back again with some cool posts that I have built up in this break!

Let me tell you why I decided to make this recipe. For me, cooking has always been a stress reliever. This is especially the case when the recipe involves repetitive motion. Focusing all my energy on only one repeating task is a great way to get out of my head and mentally decompress.  Dumplings are a great example of this.

Aside from the initial mixing of the meat filling, most of the work only involves three steps. Fill, dampen the dough, and pinch everything together. You just repeat these steps until you run out of filling.  At the end, you have this beautiful plate full of dumplings that are ready to boil. Call me Type A, but having this nicely arranged plate (usually in a spiral shape) is a very relaxing site to see at the end of a hectic day.

Also, this is such a comforting food to eat. Think about it. Warm, soothing chicken broth. A slightly chewy filling with a hint of ginger. Tender dumpling dough. All of these are quite comforting things. This is also a very light recipe, so you won’t feel weighed down after eating it.

If what I just said still hasn’t hooked you in, let me say this is a great food for office lunches as they are the best the day after making them. Much like a good marinara sauce, these dumplings get better as they sit since all the flavors have had a chance to meld together. Now let’s get started:

turkey dumpling

Ingredients

  • 1 package lean, ground turkey (you can also use ground pork or chicken)
  • 1 Tbs finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 package fresh wonton wrappers (you can find these at an Asian market or in the health/ethnic food section of your local grocery store)
  • 1 Tbs water, to glue the dumplings together
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 Tbs. sesame oil
  • Chicken broth to serve with (you can also serve dry with a soy dipping sauce)

Step 1: Let’s make the meat filling. Combine the ground turkey, ginger, green onion, egg and salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix until homogenous.

Step 2: Open dumpling wrappers. (Tip, keep a damp towel over your extra wrappers to keep them from drying out while you work. I usually isolate groups of 20 wrappers at a time.) Take one wrapper and dampen half of the edge.

Step 3: Take a teaspoon of meat filling and drop it in the middle of the wrapper. Lift the dry half of the wrapper and press it into the damp side. Before you completely seal the edges together, lightly press any excess air out of the dumpling. (This prevents them from floating to the top of the pan prematurely.

Step 4: Fill and fold all of your dumplings together until you run out of meat. As you fill plates with your raw dumplings, cover the dumplings with plastic wrap to prevent the dumpling skin from drying out.

Step 5: Boil water in a large saucepan. When it’s a rolling boil, place 10-15 dumplings into the pot. Be sure to not overcrowd the pot. Stir the water while dropping the dumplings to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Boil for 5-7 minutes. Break one dumpling in half after cooking and check to see if the meat is white. If it is still pink, continue cooking another 1-2 minutes.

Step 6: When fully cooked, drain and transfer dumplings to an oiled dish. Swirl the dumplings in the sesame oil to keep them from sticking together. Repeat step 5 as necessary. Serve warm with chicken broth.

turkey dumpling

turkey dumpling