Nicoise Pasta

Nicoise Pasta

Here’s what you should do when you don’t know what to make for dinner. Think of a meal you like and then turn it into pasta. I don’t know a kid who doesn’t want pasta every single night. Me? I love a Niçoise salad. At our favourite local, Terroni, they call it a Nizzarda, but it’s the same thing and I order it almost every time I’m there. It’s a hearty salad with greens, tomato, black olives and tuna. I’ve channeled by affections for this salad into a sandwich and now, I give you the Niçoise pasta. Never be afraid of repetition, friends, it’s always better to make things that are somewhat familiar when you’re cooking with kids. Or cooking while exhausted. Or both. Novelty is waaaay over rated.

If you’re lucky this whole recipe is already waiting for you in your pantry and fridge. I bet you’ve got dried pasta, canned tuna (I like the dark, Italian stuff packed in oil and I don’t care who knows it), Parmesan cheese, olives and capers on hand, don’t you? Maybe you pick up the cherry tomatoes and basil on your way home and 20 minutes later dinner is ready. Yes, some kids will pick out the olives (just don’t mention the capers and I bet they don’t even notice). Or maybe they’ll give one a try. Either way, you’re the rockstar who made pasta for dinner.

Nicoise Pasta 8198

photo by Maya Visnyei

Nicoise Pasta

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: serves 6

Ingredients

  • 500 grams spaghetti
  • 3 Tbsps olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 2 x 5 oz tin of tuna, drained
  • 3 or 4 leaves of fresh basil, torn into pieces
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated

Method

Put a bit pot of well-salted water on to boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Just before you drain, remove 1 cup of cooking liquid and set aside.

In another large pot, warm up olive oil over medium heat. Toss in garlic, tomatoes, olives and capers. Stir and just let the garlic cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the tuna and break it up a bit, not too much.

Now add the cooked pasta and toss everything together until the pasta is well-coated and the rest of the ingredients are spread throughout. Pour in your cooking liquid bit by bit until the pasta loosens up.

Serve with a topping of grated Parmesan and fresh basil.

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