Sunday, May 18, 2008

Chili Pasta with Lemon Tuna

It must be a Donna Hay weekend... Banana Fritters yesterday from one of her new cookbooks and Chili Pasta with Lemon Tuna from one of her older ones: New Food Fast. My friend Julie keeps asking me if I have tried this recipe yet, because she saw it and thought it seemed like something I would like. I finally made it tonight...good call Julie! Under the "10 Minutes (or so)" section of the book, this is a very quick and simple pasta dish with wonderful clean flavors. The combination of the tuna, lemon and wasabi is delicious and perfect for a warm, summery night.

Chili Pasta with Lemon Tuna
from New Food Fast, Donna Hay

400g (13oz) fresh chili linguini or angel hair pasta*
300g (10 oz) sashimi tuna
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp oil
1-2 tsp wasabi powder
2 Tbsp chervil sprigs
cracked black pepper

Place the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes or until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, chop the tuna into small, diced pieces. Combine the lemon juice, oil and wasabi. Drain the pasta and toss with the tuna, chervil and lemon juice mixture. Top with cracked black pepper and serve with a leaf salad. Serves 4.
*Note: This recipe is just as good with salmon or ocean trout. If fresh pasta is not readily obtainable, use 400g (13 oz) dry pasta, but the recipe will take a little longer than 10 minutes.

The longest part of this recipe is waiting for the water to boil. I couldn't readily locate chili pasta so I ended up using a fresh plain linguini. Since chervil is not an herb I see a lot in Hawaii, I used coarsely chopped cilantro instead. Because the tuna starts cooking immediately between the heat of the pasta and the lemon juice it starts quickly changing color to light pink. If making this recipe for guests and you want the dramatic color of the raw ahi, I would toss everything together except the tuna and bring the tuna chunks to the table in a separate bowl, tossing them in at the last minute before serving.

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