Wednesday, August 10, 2011

15-Minute Penne with Tuna, Tomato & Black Olives

This dish wins in a lot of ways: It's nutritious, yummy, and super fast. Basically, the only downside is that it's way too much food for one person, which I guess isn't really a downside in and of itself. While leftover pasta never quite lives up to its former glory, I think this will make a very tasty lunch tomorrow.
Eating at my desk like the classy lassie that I am.
 I know some people aren't the biggest fans of black olives, and I can understand this. I hated them as a kid (except for when I was allowed to wear them on my fingers) and even now they are an occasional thing for me, but I feel like they really belong in this dish. If you're still not buying it, you can substitute for any other dark sort of olive, like kalamata, if you prefer. And if you still need convincing, I say this: They're good for you! No, seriously. Olives (which are technically fruits... weird) contain anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-cancerous phytonutrients. So maybe give them another chance?

1 cup (or to taste) sliced black olives 
1 can diced tomatoes (I used "Italian herbs," but you can use plain or another herby variety)
1 can solid white albacore tuna, drained
1 1/2 cups penne pasta
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
3ish sprigs of fresh parsley
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Cook your pasta according to the package directions.
2. Meanwhile, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the garlic over medium heat and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add tomato, olives, tuna (breaking it apart), and a little salt and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the pasta is done, whichever comes first.
3. Drain your pasta, then add the tomato mixture to the pasta and toss.
4. Transfer the pasta to a bowl or serving dish, and garnish with parsley. Serve with grated Parmesan, if you like, and enjoy immediately.

I went very simple with the herbs, but you could certainly add some dried oregano and/or basil to the tomato mixture, or garnish with other fresh herbs in place of or in addition to the parsley. This dish feels "real" - yummy, but healthy and hearty - and is very easy at the end of a long day.

Obviously I tore up the parsley about twelve seconds later, but it looked pretty there for a sec, right? Also that is my 21st birthday happening in the background, in case you were wondering.

Quote of the Day: Except the vine, there is no plant which bears a fruit of as great importance as the olive. ~ Pliny the Elder

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