Pappadelle Pasta with Italian Tuna, Tomatoes and Feta

Years ago my grandmother told me about having Italian tuna over pasta with tomatoes.  I remember at first thinking this sound insane, until I tried it.  The combination of tuna fish in olive oil over hot pasta with good Italian tomatoes and garlic is a fantastic taste sensation.  It's a classic Italian dish that I've had many times here and in Italy.  Over the years I've varied this idea, incorporating whatever I have on hand for a very quick, satisfying and fairly inexpensive meal.  It's good enough to serve to guests for dinner and easy enough to make as a week night meal.  Of course you can change out the ingredients to suit your tastes.  For this dish I used Trader Joe's Lemon Pepper Pappadelle Pasta, fresh string beans, capers, chick peas/cecci beans, diced tomatoes, garlic, onion, Italian tuna in olive oil and feta cheese.  It's really not that many ingredients and it can be cut back even more - by using diced tomatoes that are already seasoned.  Try it, you'll like it!

Pappadelle Pasta with Italian Tuna, Tomatoes and Feta Ingredients:

  • 1 Package (about 12 ounces) of uncooked Pappadelle Pasta - cooked to package directions
  • 1/2 Pound Fresh String Beans - cleaned and cut in half
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Onion - Julienned
  • 2 Garlic Cloves - Minced
  • 1 Cup Cecci/Chick Peas - drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Italian Seasonings
  • 1 Can (about 14 ounces) Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Capers
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper - to taste
  • Italian Tuna in Olive Oil - drained of the oil
  • 1/4 Cup Feta Cheese for Garnish

Directions:

  1. Bring a large stock pot of salted water to a rapid boil.  While waiting for the water to boil, clean, trim and cut the strings beans, set them aside. Once the water is boiling, put the dried pasta into the water.  About 4 minutes before the pasta is cooked through, add in the cleaned string beans.  When the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving a cup of the pasta cooking water.  Add the pasta and string beans back to the pasta pot, cover and keep warm
  2. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until the oil begins to shimmer;  add in the julienned onions and saute until the onions are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Add in the garlic and saute another minute.
  3. Next add in the cecci beans and stir to combine with the onions and garlic.  Stir in the dried Italian seasonings and saute for 30 seconds before adding in the diced tomatoes with their juices and the capers.  Bring the mixture to a boil to heat through, then simmer for 5 minutes to tighten the sauce.  
  4. Pour this over the cooked and warmed pasta/string beans and gently toss to coat the pasta, along with the drained Italian Tuna in olive oil.  Season with freshly ground black pepper.  
  5. Sprinkle the feta cheese over each pasta dish after plating it.  Serves 4 generously.  

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