I made this last week and was really excited about it. I had seen Ms Rachel make it on her show and it looked really yummy. I had a ton of tuna in the pantry so I thought, why not? Unfortunately it did not live up to the hype. The actual tuna dish was just so bland, even with salt and pepper. My guys were not fans of the texture either. The Gremolata Bread Crumbs were the star of the show. As long a you had some of those on your fork with the pasta, it was delightful.
So If I make it again, I think I might add the bread crumbs to the dish instead of letting them sit on top. Then it might work better. Give it a try and see what you think. It’s rare for Rachel to disappoint. I would love to know what you think.
Celebrate the Feast!
Tuna and White Bean Pasta with Gremolata Bread Crumbs
Recipe by Rachael Ray
6 tablespoons EVOO
6 flat filet anchovies, optional
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup breadcrumbs, toast and grind stale bread or store bought (have frozen ends in fridge to give tip – save ends until you have a bunch, toast and grind)
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1 pound penne or ziti rigate
4 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 (15-ounce) can white beans, rinsed and drained
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine, white vermouth or chicken broth
2 cans 6 ounces each Italian tuna in oil or water, drained
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped or 1 can 15 ounces can diced tomatoes, drained, optional
Heat 4 tablespoons EVOO in small pan over medium-low heat with anchovies, if using. Melt anchovies into oil until they dissolve then add garlic and stir 2 minutes then add breadcrumbs and stir and cook until deeply golden in color. Stir in zest of 2 lemons and parsley and crushed red pepper flakes. Turn off heat and transfer to a bowl.
Heat a large pot of water to a boil for pasta.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO, couple of turns of the pan. Add celery, onions and 2 cloves garlic to the pan and cook until just tender, 5 minutes. Add white beans and rosemary and heat through 2 to 3 minutes more. Add wine, vermouth or broth, flakes tuna and tomato, if using. Stir 2 minutes then turn off heat.
Just before draining the pasta, add a ladle of starchy cooking water to pan along with the drained pasta, toss to combine. Serve in shallow bowls with lots of breadcrumbs and a drizzle of oil on top.
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