What kind of fish has two knees?
A two-knee fish!
Every time people start telling jokes this is literally the only one I can remember. Let me tell you, it's a huge hit with the 2 - 5 year old crowd, they love it! Todays recipe rocks that two-knee fish hard in a simple pasta dish that is as fool proof as it is delicious. My dad often talks about this dish, his mother, my Nonna Mary, made a similar one when she was a kitchen queen. However, I steered away from this recipe for awhile. I didn't think I would like it, I'm not a huge seafood fan and while I do love tuna, fishy flavors don't appeal to me. But boy, was that a whale of a mistake! A few weeks ago I blasted back to Brooklyn from a work trip in Dallas and came home to my mother-in-law and daughter . I wanted to quickly whip up a nice dinner with minimal mess, so I tossed open my cabinets and saw a can of tuna and some passata and decided to finally give this dish a go. I was absolutely blown away, the depth of flavor that the tuna gives the sauce is phenomenal, especially considering the minimal cook time and the simple and few ingredients. There is no fishy flavor, in-fact when my husband came home and devoured a bowl I didn't even tell him what was in there until he was done and he had no clue! The flavor is fresh and light and multi-layered, so don't make the same mistake I made and leave this out of your life for a day longer. I whipped up some today for a snowy family dinner with my sister and her crew and there wasn't a empty bowl on the table, well maybe one, my nephew Kasey but he is a hardline vegetarian! He did say it looked and smelled good though.
So get to getting and make this dish, it won't disapoint!
What do I Need?
1 Pound Spaghetti (serves 4 hungry people)
48 - 50 ounces of Passata or sauced tomatoes, basically two large cans or jars, you'll have a bit of left-over sauce which you can freeze or use for leftovers (you can use crushed or plum tomatoes that you have pureed or smashed, but I prefer passata)
1 Can of tuna in olive oil (I like white albacore, but if you are a fish lover you can go for yellowfin and other fishier varieties)
2 Cloves of garlic peeled
1 1/2 t oregano
1 t parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
In a large saucepan, heat your olive oil over medium heat, while your oil is warming up, peel your garlic cloves and poke a few holes in them with a fork. Add the whole garlic cloves to the oil and sauté for 3 -5 minutes or until fragrant and golden brown. Remove the cloves from the oil and set aside, do not discard this Italian gold.
Drain the oil from your tuna can and add tuna to the sauce pan, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, add 1 teaspoon of oregano, salt and pepper and stir for 5-7 minutes. Add your sauced tomatoes, I like to add mine inch by inch, stirring it slowly as I add in my tomatoes. Return your cloves of garlic to the sauce. I know a lot of folks discard their garlic when they use it to flavor the oil, as we are doing here. But I can't bear to toss these gems, they are squishy garlic heavenly delights after they cook in the sauce and vampires beware, I devour them whole! Bring your sauce to a simmer for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat and add in your remaining 1/2 teaspoon of oregano and your teaspoon of parsley. Let your sauce cook on low, stirring every 7 minutes or so for 45 minutes to an hour. Serve with spaghetti!
Invite your neighbors over, your pals or your long lost cousins, good food is better when it's shared with others.
Tuna packs a power punch of protein, so if you flex with every forklift to your mouth, it's kind of like you are building biceps, kind of....