dinner diary – pappardelle w tuna, zucchini and roasted tomatoes

You know what I hate…that awful ad that’s on at the moment for Continental Pasta….where the TV mother raves about how much her family loves her “Pasta Depenzo” (“Depends on what’s in the fridge” *cue laughs*)…..urrrrrgh…drives me mad!

Honestly…if you are going to bother adding anything to that packet crap you might as well go one step further and cook a proper pasta…it isn’t like it is any more time consuming! And no fresh vegetable deserves that fate….

Ranting aside, I am a huge advocate of the concept of “Depenzo”…..particularly when there are meagre fridge pickings and dinner is highly dependent on my storecupboard hunter/gatherer skills. Tonights dinner was as such and was also somewhat an amalgation of two of my favourite recipes, Nigella Lawson’s  Zucchini, Sultana and Pinenut Papardelle and my own favourite Cherry Tomato & Tuna Pesto Pasta.

As Nigella says, don’t be wary of the sultanas as they were definitely as she describes “a moorish touch”.


250g dried egg papardelle

15 g butter

1T olive oil

7 baby zucchinis , cut into small rounds

2 cloves garlic

50 g sultanas

3 T basil pesto

3T Marsala

1 x 400g can of tinned tuna in olive oil (I prefer to use tuna in oil as I find it has a nicer texture)

small handful grated parmesan

1 punnet cherry tomatoes

  1. Heat the butter and oil in a saucepan and add in the garlic (crushed) and the zucchini rounds.
  2. Fry until they start to soften then season with salt and pepper and turn the flame down so they cook on a low heat. Leave for about 30 to 45 minutes stirring occasionally.
  3. In the meantime, pour the cherry tomatoes into a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil, season and put in a preheated oven (160 fanforced).
  4. Roast for approximately 20 minutes or until the skin starts to blister and you know that they are ready to pop with oozy gooey tomato goodness.
  5. While you are doing this, heat the Marsala and pour over the sultanas leaving them to soak up all the naughty juices for about 15 minutes.
  6. Cook the pasta as per instructions in some hot water with a dash of olive oil and salt.
  7. Once this is drained, go back to the sultanas and add them into the pan with the zucchini, tossing them around to coat and seasoning if necessary.
  8. Pour the pasta into a big bowl, throw over the zucchini mixture, drained tuna and roasted tomatoes along with the pesto and parmesan.
  9. Toss away and presto! Dinner is ready. Best part? Minimal cleanup.

NB: I did crumble a bit of fetta through the pasta as well which was a nice touch. Nigella’s recipe calls for toasted pinenuts which I was out of but I’m sure would make a lovely addition.


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