Sunday, May 6, 2007

Pasta Weekend Part Two: Black Pepper Tagliatelle with Red Sauce and Seared Tuna

I invited Jenni over tonight to try my reworking of one of Mario Batali's recipes, Tagliatelle with Fresh Tuna Ragu. I added pepper to the tagliatelle, and rather than incorporate the tuna into the sauce, I seared it and served it on top. You can get the pasta recipe from the recent ravioli post. Just add 1-2 Tbsp of finely ground black pepper, and after rolling the pasta, cut it into strips 3/4 of an inch wide. Here's a nice shot of the tagliatelle drying:

The sauce is a pretty simple tomato sauce, which you can play around with any number of ways. I stayed pretty true to the basic tomato sauce, but did add some oregano. Here's my version:

One 28 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand, liquid reserved
1/4 C of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
One small carrot, finely chopped or shredded
Three cloves of garlic, minced
One Tbsp each of fresh thyme and oregano, chopped
One Tsp of fresh rosemary, chopped

In a 3 quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-low heat and cook the onions until soft and translucent, about ten minutes. Add the carrot and cook for another five minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and oregano and continue to cook for two minutes. Add the tomatoes and reserved liquid and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes, longer if necessary. What you're looking for is a nice thick consistency here. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Once the sauce has been simmering for a while and is getting close to the right consistency, turn the heat to low and just let it bubble away. Meanwhile, heat a little olive oil, about one Tbsp, in a saute or frying pan (It's best to get the pan on the heat for a minute, then add the oil and give it about another minute to come up to temperature. You can tell it's hot enough when currents within the hot oil cause it to take on a "rippling" appearance; oh, and do NOT use a non-stick pan). Season the tuna with salt and pepper and sear for about two minutes on each side, longer if you don't like your tuna particularly rare, and slice into 1/4 inch strips. Alternately, you could slice the tuna into strips first and sear for about 30 seconds on each side. Place the tuna into an oven safe dish, cover with foil and set into a warm, but not hot, oven (I turned the oven up to about 400 for 10 or 15 minutes, then turned it off about 10 minutes before I put the tuna in, and it was just the right temperature).

Once the tuna's hanging out in the oven, drop your pasta into some heavily salted boiling water and cook until it's al dente. For my pasta, which was pretty thick, this is anywhere from seven to ten minutes. Thinner tagliatelle will take much less time to cook, so test early and test often.

Strain the pasta, plate it with a little sauce, add the tuna and you're ready to rumble. This serves two.

1 comment:

Trisha said...

Ewww, I hates the fish!