So once again on a weeknight this past week, we got home from work late, starving, and of course wanted to eat something super quick. I had planned on a meatless dinner and yet again, my husband protested. (Does yours, all you women out there?) I acquiesced with a small can of tuna here, which is how I came to make this Quick Pasta with Broccoli Rabe, Tuna, Olives & Slow Roasted Tomatoes dish. It was delicious!!
Additionally, we were supposed to have a dinner party this week and I was going to serve this Spicy Beef Ragout but one of the guests messed up on the date and we had to reschedule, and I had already bought everything for the dinner. So I went ahead and made the stew and froze it. (It will be better! :)) But the roasted Roma tomatoes would not wait 2 weeks and I didn’t think would freeze very well. So the day before this dinner below, I slow roasted those tomatoes anyway, not really knowing how I would use them. They are so easy to make and super delicious!! You just need the time for the two hours. Slow roasting makes them super sweet and totally yummy! You’ll really want to eat them with anything so I knew it wouldn’t be a problem.
I threw this dish together in literally 30 minutes and it was terrific!! My husband even talked about it the next morning and you know it’s really great when they’re still remembering it at breakfast.
A quick minute in the microwave revives the tomatoes and rather than chopping and mixing them in, which I considered, I thought it was much more elegant to just position them on the side, so you could decide to have a bite with or without them. Much nicer.
At any rate, this whole combination is super satisfying, quick, easy and full of flavor. Using the same pot of water to blanch the broccoli rabe (which removes the bitterness) and cook the pasta in is the real time saver. I hope you’ll try it and maybe always keep some slow roasted tomatoes on hand. I’m thinking I should do that. Serve with LOVE and enjoy!!
QUICK PASTA WITH BROCCOLI RABE, TUNA, OLIVES & SLOW ROASTED TOMATOES – serves 4
½ lb. spaghetti
1 large bunch of broccoli rabe, stalk ends trimmed, chopped in 1” pieces, washed in a water bath
1 Tbs. coarse sea salt
5 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
3 Tbs. olive oil, plus 1 more Tbs. for finishing
1 5 oz. can white Albacore tuna, packed in water and drained
¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives, drained and chopped
2 Tbs. fresh grated Romano cheese
8 – 9 slow roasted Roma tomatoes
1 Tbs. olive oil
Thyme leaves from 4 sprigs of thyme
TO MAKE THE ROASTED ROMA TOMATOES: DO THIS THE DAY BEFORE. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Pile tomatoes on top, add 1 tablespoon of the oil, season with salt and pepper and toss. Add leaves from 4 sprigs of the thyme, toss again. Spread the tomatoes in a single layer on the foil-lined baking sheet, skin side down. Roast on the top shelf in the oven at 300 degrees for 2 hours. Let cool and store in a closed container in the refrigerator.
In a large pasta pot, place the washed broccoli rabe. Fill the pot with water to be at least 2 inches above the broccoli rabe. Add in the salt and stir to combine. Place the pot on high heat.
Meanwhile, warm the 3 Tbs. olive oil in a large skillet on low heat, (large enough to hold the broccoli rabe and pasta too), add the garlic and stir. Do not let it brown.
When small bubbles appear around the edges of the pot with the broccoli rabe, remove the rabe with a slotted spoon into a colander over a bowl and let drain. Let the water in the pot come back to a full boil. When that happens, add the pasta and cook for 3 minutes less than the lower number on the package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, (be sure to stir every once in a while), put the broccoli rabe in the skillet with the garlic. Cook a bit more, and toss. Add the tuna, flaking it as you stir.
When the pasta is near the end of cooking, take a large coffee mug and scoop out some pasta water. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the tuna and broccoli rabe, stirring with tongs to combine. Add about ¼ cup of pasta water and the grated Romano cheese to make a loose sauce. Stir and taste until the pasta is done. Stir in the black olives to combine and finish with a drizzle of a tablespoon more of olive oil.
Taste to your liking with more salt or more cheese and some fresh ground black pepper.
Warm the tomatoes in the microwave for a minute or two. Serve the pasta in warmed bowls, with the tomatoes on the side as pictured above.
A complete meal in a dish and so delicious!!
We just had the leftovers for lunch today – still yummy!
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