Thursday, 9 August 2012

"Bow-Ties Are Cool" Pasta

You wouldn’t know it by looking at me, but I have serious geek tendencies.  I love good sci-fi and weird fiction, and I seriously believe they deserve as much credit as “serious” literature. I am pretty sure that my mom, who is a total Trekkie and a “Lord of the Rings” fanatic, is largely responsible for that. No, I wasn’t taught Klingon or Elvish as a child (whew!), but “Next Generation” was my “Sesame Street” and “The Hobbit” was my bedtime reading.

However, my boyfriend gets the credit for introducing me to “Doctor Who”, which I had inexplicably never watched before I met him. Yes, I am very late on the band-wagon, I realize that. I missed the David Tennant years because I was busy with things like so-called higher education and trying to keep a punk band functional, so “my” Doctor is definitely Matt Smith. And yes, I think bow-ties are cool, and I feel the need to declare as much every time I make farfalles, commonly known as bow-tie pasta.

Farfalle are named after the word farfalla, which means “butterfly” in Italian, and they are awesome with all kinds of sauces, particularly creamy and tomato-based ones. And when life ruffles you up, is there anything as wonderful as a big bowl of pasta? Yes, I know: eating the pasta while watching the “Doctor Who” marathon on Space!

Now, don't worry: this isn't a "fish-stick and custard" pasta sauce, but it does include fish in the form of canned tuna, and some unexpected yet delicious flavor combination.

From "Cook with Jamie", geeky-fied by me!

1 package dry farfalle
Olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 to 1 fresh chile, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 bunch fresh basil, leaves coarsely chopped
1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes
2 (10 ounce) cans tuna in olive oil, drained and flaked
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lemon, juiced and zested
Freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat a splash of olive oil over medium-low heat in a large pan. Add the onion, chile and cinnamon. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion is softened and slightly sweet.

Turn the heat up to medium and add the tomatoes, tuna and some salt and pepper. Break the tomatoes up using the back of a spoon and bring to a boil.

Turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. When the pasta is cooked and drained, mix in with the sauce along with the basil leaves, lemon juice and zest and handful of Parmesan. Mix together well, adding a bit of the pasta’s cooking water if the sauce needs loosening up.

Dose the chile carefully, because too much heat drowns out the other flavors, which are awesome. Also, if canned tuna isn't your thing, feel free to used canned salmon instead: both fishes taste lovely with the other ingredients. Just make sure you get boneless, skinless and dolphin-safe canned fish!

The sauce is spicy, chunky, zesty and colorful; a great twist on simple tomato sauce. Served with cute little bow-ties, the whole thing is damn near irresistible! This dish goes really well with a red wine I recently discovered: Le Jaja de Jojo, a simple dry syrrah that's tasty with almost everything.

Have fun watching the new "Doctor Who" season, nerds!


  1. this is amazing!!! im making it for a doctor who themed party tonight! thank you so much!!

  2. You are welcome! That sounds like a really fun party! Enjoy!