We adore pasta in our house and this dish originates from that age old question “It’s shopping day tomorrow- what’s for dinner tonight?”. I am happy to say that from these humble origins this has now firmly established itself as a pretty regular feature in our meal plans. I enjoy it more every time we have it!
Let’s talk about capers – they may not be something that you have used before. Capers are quite popular in Mediterranean cuisine but maybe not so commonly used in the UK. If you haven’t tried them and are a bit dubious about these somewhat ugly little green things then this is a good place to start. I bought a jar to try in another recipe ages ago but was suffering with my vertigo so we never used them and they just sat, unopened, in the fridge for a few months until I was scouring the kitchen for things to chuck into some kind of pasta for dinner.
I would say the important thing to remember – if you ARE unfamiliar with capers – is to soak them for 5 minutes in a bowl of cold water. This gets rid of almost all of the brine they are preserved in , leaving just their natural almost lightly perfumed taste. They really go well with the tuna, roasted cherry tomatoes and garlic to create a balanced fresh pasta with just a hint of Mediterranean sunshine! Capers are (I think!) available in most of the main UK supermarkets and are not too expensive.
If you still really don’t fancy trying, or can’t get capers, I’ve found that olives work well too – or you could just leave them out. However, I truly believe that they make this into something really quite special and delicious . The first time I made this I was a little worried about my other half not liking it because of the capers (because he’s a picky so-and-so!) but he really enjoyed it so they may surprise you!
You will also have noticed that the recipe contains a fair amount of garlic. Now I know that garlic is a very love it or hate it kind of thing – personally I love it but I am aware that not everyone does. Roasting garlic like this gives it an almost entirely different flavour – a deep, almost nutty and sweet flavour. However, if you’re not keen, you could probably do the pasta without. If you do try it, please let me know how you get on!
This is a super easy and fairly quick recipe to make. If you’ve been working and just got in, simply pop the tomatoes and garlic in the oven, sit down and put your feet up while they roast. Once they’re done, it’s just a bit of pan cooking whilst the pasta cooks – nice, simple and definitely not too taxing after a long day at work. Whilst it is a pretty quick pasta to make, if I do have a bit more time, I like to just leave the tomatoes and garlic in the pan as long as I can so they really kind of melt down but do whatever suits you – it will be great either way.
Just a little bit about basic kitchen equipment. When we first moved into our own place, we were pretty poor and relied on donations from family of kitchen utensils and equipment which were gratefully received. As we settled down and the bank balance began to recover from the expenses of the move, we started to gradually replace these with our own brand new things. One of the first things we bought was a set of 3 Pyrex dishes (2 different sized lasagne type dishes and a round casserole dish with a lid). Now, almost 4 years later, we still have (and regularly use) the same set. There are some really good value sets available like this one and they really are such a handy thing to have for cooking!
In my opinion, these are some of the most important things to invest in for your kitchen, whether you do lots of cooking or just a little. They can be used for literally anything! The rectangular dishes get used for roasting veg, making lasagnes, oven baking fish and meat – I’ve even baked cakes in them! The round one is used for casseroles, cottage pies, roasting and also sits perfectly over my biggest saucepan for melting chocolate. So, if you don’t have any Pyrex dishes, I really recommend them from the bottom of my heart.
If you have the afternoon to spend a bit of time making and tending to the dough, this pasta goes beautifully with my herb and cheese topped focaccia to mop up any sauce left on the plate! Enjoy! DDxPrint