I had all the other stuff in my kitchen already and these are all items that I highly advise having around at all times for culinary emergencies: capers, an onion, cherry tomatoes (I always buy a carton of these every week – they are sweet and perfect all year round and if I’m not cooking with them I am snacking away on them!), parmesan cheese, a lemon (always have a lemon on hand. You never know!) and of course pasta.
I start by making the bread crumbs…make ‘em fresh by whirling a slice or two of fresh break in your food processor and toasting the crumbs in skillet with a little olive oil, salt and pepper until they are golden. Test them, and then tell yourself sternly that you need to save some for the pasta. I would never have thought bread crumbs could be addictive before I made my own.
On to the pasta. The onion and the cherry tomatoes get cooked up in a little olive oil until they are lovely and soft, and then you make a quick sauce out of them with some water from the pasta pot and a handful of parmesan. Once that’s done, it’s only a matter of tossing the pasta with the sauce, some capers and the tuna. Now divide it among plates and drizzle it with a little fresh lemon juice and a scatter of those bread crumbs.
See? Tuna to the rescue. Works every time!
Serves: 2 good-sized servings
- 2 slices fresh bread, processed into crumbs in your food processor
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
- 8 ounces spaghetti or linguine
- 1 onion, sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- ⅛ cup capers (or more if you like capers!)
- 1 seven ounce can or jar of oil-packed tuna, drained and lightly crumbled (you want some good size pieces)
- Juice from one lemon
- 1. Make bread crumbs by heating 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add fresh crumbs with a pinch of salt and a couple grindings of fresh pepper. Stir until golden and crispy, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
- 2. Cook pasta according to package directions in salted water. Reserve 1 cup of water and drain.
- 3. While the pasta is cooking, heat the remaining oil in a large deep skillet over medium high heat. Cook the onions until softened, about 10 minutes. Add cherry tomato halves and cook another 5 minutes or so until softened.
- 4. Add cheese and stir, and then drizzle in just enough pasta water to form a light sauce (you might not need all of it). Add pasta, capers and tuna and toss until everything is combined and heated through.
- 5. Divide pasta among plates, drizzle with fresh lemon juice, garnish with bread crumbs and serve.