A few days ago, The Beloved decided to go to the gym. I wanted no part of it, so my job was to make Some Sort of Dinner while he was gone. Fine. Tuna in the pantry. Interesting rotini made from brown rice, some stock, a few frozen peppers. And some goat cheese. I love goat cheese. I like the mild kind. I like the goaty kind. I like it fresh or aged, with or without herbs or a keen line of ash running through it. We didn’t have much in the fridge, so I figured sprinkling some on top of whatever dinner actually turned out to be would make it even better.
If you haven’t seen a Sunday Suppers post before, don’t expect anything fancy. These are usually easy, one dish meals that we can eat for two or three days before we move on to something else. Disclaimer: just because I’m writing this in the form of a recipe doesn’t mean that I will ever make this dish the same way again. Please, feel free to take the basic idea and make it your own.
This is what I came up with, and it was delightful.
Creamy Three Pepper Pasta with Tuna and Goat Cheese
- some sort of short pasta shape–we had about a pound of brown rice rotini from TJ’s
- maybe 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup (or so) of pasta cooking liquid
- about 1/2 cup half and half
- lemon pepper, a lot
- 1/2 bag TJ’s Ménage à Trois (frozen strips of red, yellow and green bell pepper)
- 2 small cans tuna, drained
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- a little Old Bay (I don’t seem to be able to help myself)
- crumbled goat cheese
This is an easy one dish meal. I cook the noodles and then make the sauce right in with the drained pasta, so I don’t go through all of the sweating/sautéing of aromatics. You certainly could, if you wanted to. Maybe deglaze with some white wine and go from there.
So, I cooked the pasta for about 5 minutes, then added the pepper strips and let them cook right along with the pasta for another 3-4 minutes.
I drained the pasta and peppers and returned them to the pot along with the cooking liquid and the chicken stock, salt, pepper, lemon pepper and Old Bay. Once the sauce was reduced by quite a bit, I added the half and half and the tuna and let it cook and reduce until creamy.
I upped the creamy factor by adding some grated cheese. Then, I served it, drizzled with some olive oil along with crumbled goat cheese and some more freshly ground black pepper.
Apart from bringing the water to a boil, the entire meal only took about 15 minutes to prepare. It was creamy and satisfying. Plus, it had vegetables. And goat cheese. It was practically health food, for goodness sake!
You can adapt this Make a Sauce right in with the Noodles techniques in all sorts of ways. Here are Two Ways:
1. Dump in a can of tomatoes (or diced very ripe fresh tomatoes) and lots of olive oil and a little basil and/or oregano for a super fast tomato sauce.
2. Try mushrooms and beef stock stirred into cooked egg noodles along with some leftover roast beef and then finish with a little sour cream for a really fast Stroganoff-type dish.
The whole point is to only use one pan and end up happy for at least two meals. If you’ve been able to do that, you’ve done well. Enjoy!