Cupboard Supper: Seafood Spaghetti

Spring is the season for asparagus, spring onions and peas. I love them all served together with spaghetti and garlic and lots of butter. This recipe can be made from stuff in your pantry other than the scallions. You could use red onion or shallots in place of the green onion but it wouldn’t be the same.

This is the only seafood and pasta dish where I grate cheese on top; normally taboo – considered not a good combination but it works fantastically in this fast to throw together entrée.  This meal is visually appealing with the greens and the white.  I have been making variations of it for many years.  This is one of my favorite versions.  Great flavor and so speedy to make; how fast can you get the water boiling and cook the pasta?  That is how long it takes to create a great meal in one fantastic dish.

Yes, I make it with gf pasta.  Use the brand you love, don’t overcook it; barely done is best.  I made it for years and years with regular pasta before I had to go gluten free.  The original recipe didn’t have the asparagus and peas; my addition.  Good no matter what veggies you add; just don’t take away any of the basic ingredients.

Try to use tuna packed in olive oil; makes all the difference, especially for Italian dishes, much better flavor than any other kind of tuna. Giant carries it as does Wegmans. If you totally hate tuna you could use half a pound of small cooked shrimp. Ditto on using real butter, margarine will ruin the flavor for sure.  And I really love the greens; especially the onions; buy scallions if you can’t find spring onions.  I always cook the white parts a few minutes but the green tops can be close to raw. Better that way than overcooked. Last but not least by any means, use the real deal for your parmesan cheese, that shreddy stuff in the jar is not gf a lot of the time and the flavor is sad when compared to a chunk you just grated on your pasta. You can thank me after you taste this masterpiece!

Seafood Spaghetti with Greens

Ingredients

1 package of gf spaghetti

½ stick of butter

6-10 spears of asparagus

½ cup fresh snap peas, cut in half (frozen oetite peas are fine)

1 can light tuna packed in olive oil

1 can diced clams

1 bundle scallions or spring onions

1 big garlic clove

Directions: Boil a big pot of salted water, add the entire box of spaghetti; usually 12 oz size in gf.  Cook stirring often until barely done.  Drain.  While it cooks make the rest of the dish.

Veggie Prep: I like to snap the asparagus into manageable lengths; like 1 ½ inches long.  Ditch the tough ends. Cut the peas in half, cut the spring onions into ¼ inch rounds. If using frozen peas add in the last 2 minutes of cooking.

Melt 3 tbsp. of the butter in a big saucepan.  I use my mini wok. Add the veggies, cook a minute, and add the garlic pressed or minced.  Stir and cook another minute.  Throw in the white part of the onions; add the tuna and clams with ALL the juices and olive oil in the tuna can.  Stir gently and cook a minute.  Toss in the green parts of the scallions and the cooked hot pasta.  Stir a bit.  Add 1 tbsp. more butter if you dare and up to a quarter cup of pasta water to moisten the pasta.  It is really not a wet sauce; the stuff should cling to the strands of spaghetti.

Serve and top each portion with a healthy amount of finely grated real parmesan cheese.   Should serve four but if you are piggy only serves 3! seafood spagetti on plate

+++++++++++++ Variation for those with a garden +++++++++++++

Yes, you can eat kale flower buds, a lot like broccolini.  I sometimes blanch them in hot water before sauteing with olive oil and garlic.

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These pictures above show my latest and quite yummy variation: I quick sizzled unopened kale flower buds from my last year’s plants and topped the finished pasta dish with it; really nice and I am guessing this kale option is quite good for your health

Originally posted May 2015.

Refreshing Dinner Salad with Tuna and Fresh Dill

Tuna salad, that kinda conjures up images of mayonnaise drenched tuna on bread.  Nope, not what we are talking about today. I am thinking something more like a supper plate salad but using canned olive oil packed tuna.  There are a couple of good brands of olive oil packed light tuna, I use them in Italian recipes all the time, the flavor is superior to any water or other oil packed tuna.

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You can put this together with stuff in the fridge and pantry and have a healthy, tasty cold salad that needs no cooking meaning no hot stove.  I will share what I put in mine and you can modify it to use what you have available, exact amounts are flexible.  I am sure you could use canned salmon instead of tuna or cooked chicken might work great too.  The key to success is lots of fresh veggies, high quality tuna and a good vinaigrette dressing.

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Angie’s Tuna Supper Plate Salad

1 can oil packed light tuna (I used half a can: rest will keep a day in the fridge for another salad)

2 cups greens, best is garden lettuce, if none; get something like a spring mix or another tender leaf lettuce

½ cup sliced cucumber: I prefer an European cucumber for this recipe

1/3 cup sliced yellow squash (raw)

1 tomato cut into large chunks

¼ cup chopped celery

1-2 tbsp. feta cheese crumbled

1-2 scallions or spring onions diced up

2 tbsp. chopped fresh dill

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Directions: Put the greens on a full sized plate and arrange the veggies, top with cheese, then tuna and on the very top goes the spring onion and fresh dill.

Vinaigrette Dressing:

Here is my basic vinaigrette recipe.  I use one of those Good Seasoning’s jars to mix it in but add my own ingredients instead of their powder which is not gluten free. You can use any jar with a tight lid and measure in the ingredients.

Fill it to the vinegar line with red wine vinegar, (approx. 1/4 cup)

Add some filtered water to the water line (about 2 tbsp)

½ tsp Dijon mustard or whole grain mustard

½ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp dried thyme or oregano

one garlic clove (peeled and mashed down a bit to release flavor)

1 tsp mayonnaise

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp sugar

Top off with some extra virgin olive oil, stop halfway before the oil line and finish it with lighter olive oil (total of ½ cup plus 1 tbsp. of oil)

Shake it up really well.  It tastes best at room temperature. Try to remember to make it early so you can let it marinate for an hour before you use it.  Refrigerate leftover dressing. The mustard adds snap and the bit of mayonnaise helps the dressing stay emulsified (fully blended) longer than it would without the mayo so you can pour it easier with out it separating.

Notes: Use the veggies you have and don’t sweat the proportions but don’t put too much of any one vegetable in; so no one veggie flavor predominates; it should be about the tuna and the dill.  If you are a dill hater, try another fresh herb, parsley or basil come to mind.

Have fun making this quick, healthy, and yummy dinner salad that will satisfy your appetite and keep you feeling full for a long while!