Simple Elegance

It’s not often that a mere 5 or 6 ingredients can translate into existential gastronomic beauty but, a good provencale sauce may do the trick. This past weekend, a Sunday evening dinner party was sprung upon me with about a two hour notice. The question becomes,’what can I do with the shit in the refrigerator and not use the Kraft Mac and Cheese?’
After quick perusal, it became obvious, a provencale sauce with the perfect pasta (always on hand) would do the trick. In order to mix it up a bit, I decided to make the sauce with the tuna as a steak placed on top of the dish, cooked to preference.
Olive Oil
Garlic Cloves, many
Capers, I used about 2/3rds of one of those medium-sized containers from a specialty store (i think they are a pint)
Chopped Black Olives, pitted-kalamata (we had a large container in the fridge)- same size container, all of them chopped
Roma or cherry tomatoes, crushed/chopped-about one to one and a half quarts
Chopped parsley, about two or three ounces
Salt/Pepper to taste
Tuna Steaks, one per person, or more
Appropriate pasta: I prefer the Fusilli/Gamelli/multiple ridges and crooks over strings

The dish:
Water on the boil with a touch of salt. Put in the pasta.
Immediately start with olive oil and massive quantities of sliced/minced garlic-I used 10 cloves. Medium heat cooking of the garlic until it starts to brown.
Dump the tomatoes, capers, chopped olives into the mix and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the tomatoes are breaking up just a bit.

While the sauce cooks, throw the tuna steaks in a pan at medium high heat with olive oil and a bit of salt/pepper and cook two to three minutes per side- make sure the pan is hot enough to sear/brown the outside without burning-and it should all come together at the same time.
Throw the sauce into the pasta (drained) and mix. Add to bowl/plate, add parsley-place the tuna on top, and serve.

Remember, no parma with the seafoods.

I served the dish with a 2001 Cote du Rhone Villages. Just soft enough in age to be medium to light bodied with the right amount of earthiness to off-set the sea.

There you have it boys, my first post.


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