Use what’s around you, in season and as local as possible. Here in Greece I’ve been enjoying my summer vacation with those who mean so much to me: my family, relatives, good friends. Its been hot here in Greece since July and since I’ve been here (early August) we’ve had temperatures reaching well over 30C and on a couple of occasions the thermometer hit 40C!
Pasta doesn’t require much work, the kitchen doesn’t get a chance to heat up the home and with some basic kitchen staples and a clean-out of the fridge, a unique and delicious lunch/dinner can be had.
Greek pantry items like dried Greek oregano, Boukovo (chilli flakes) are always on hand. This northern Greek family always seems to have some roasted red peppers on hand and who doesn’t have a can of tuna laying around? The broccoli may be an odd addition but we always have it in the fridge and it’s often steamed and then tossed with olive oil and lemon juice.
Briny capers and meaty Throumpes olives from Halkidiki are the seasoning for this dish. Capers from the islands and these wrinkly salt-cured olives are my fave. You can find capers and salt-cured olives at most grocers now. The only other ingredient one need here is the love of cooking, sharing that passion with friends and smiling as the dish you so caringly prepared is enjoyed with savour by your dinner guests.
Makaronada With Tuna, Roast Peppers & Capers
1 can of tuna, packed in oil, drained
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 scallions, sliced (reserving some for garnish)
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of ripe plum tomatoes, diced
1 cup of roasted red peppers, sliced into strips
1 cup of broccoli florets, lightly blanched
1/4 cup of capers, rinsed
12-16 Throumpes olives, pitted, roughly chopped
1/4 chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. dried Greek oregano
1 tsp. Boukovo (dried Greek chilli flakes)
salt and pepper to taste
500 gr. package of dried pasta (I used linguine)
- Place a large pot of water on your stove and bring to a boil, add enough salt to make the water salty as the sea and add the broccoli florets and boil for 3 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of ice water, strain and reserve.
- In the same pot of salted water, place your pasta in the pot and add the pasta and cook according to packet instructions.
- In the meantime, place a large skillet on your stove top over medium heat and add the scallions and garlic and sweat for 2-3 minutes then add the tomatoes and cook-down for 3-4 minutes.
- Now add the reserved broccoli florets, slices of red peppers, capers and pitted olives and toss in the sauce until just warmed-through (for a couple of minutes).
- Drain your pasta and add to the sauce and toss along with the chopped parsley, oregano and Boukovo. Divide and plate the pasta, reserving some of the sauce and place a good chunk of tuna on top (center) of each serving and a bit of the reserved sauce and a drizzle of extra-virgin Greek olive oil. Serve with a Gerovassliou Malagouzia white.
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