Monday, November 1, 2010

Quick & Easy Curry Tuna Fusilli

Cooking this was really fast, preparation + cooking = 20 minutes!


Here's what you need to whip out this quick & easy meal for two:
From 12 o'clock (clockwise): Olives, Holland pea, onion & garlic, cucumber, canned curry tuna, spring onion, fusilli


You can also add some slice tomatoes, bell peppers, chopped chilli or mushrooms.  No hard and fast rules, simply make use of whatever vegetables that's available in your fridge.  If you're cooking for your kids, use canned tomato tuna instead.

Method:
1) Boil water in pot - amount of water depends on how much pasta you are cooking (after you put the pasta in the pot of water, the height of water must cover the pasta + at least 1 inch).
2) While waiting for water to boil, wash the vegetables.  Snap off the ends of the Holland pea and cut each pea into two in an angle (see tips below).  Slice the cucumber & olives, chop the spring onion and set aside.
3) The water should be boiling by now.  Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp oil in the water and blanch the Holland pea for slightly less than a minute.  Remove and set aside.
4) Put pasta in the pot (takes around 8 mins to cook over medium heat).
5) While pasta is cooking, slice the onion (see tips below) and mince the garlic.
6) Heat 1 tbsp oil in pan over high heat.  Add sliced onion, stir a little, followed by chopped garlic and sliced olives  (you can start adding your tomatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers if you have them).  Empty the can of curry tuna into the pan and break the tuna into smaller pieces.
7) Use a slotted spoon (ie ladle with holes) to scoop out the pasta and add them to the pan.  Add about two to three tablespoons of pasta water from the pot, or more if you like your pasta with more gravy.  Stir well, so that the fusilli is well coated with the curry tuna sauce.  To do this fast, toss the mixture in your pan for a few times.
8) Add the blanched Holland pea and chopped spring onion (reserved some for garnish), give it another toss and serve.
9) Garnish with sliced cucumber and chopped spring onion.


Cooking tips:
1) Why cut vegetables in an angle?  3 reasons that I can think of:  Appearance wise, it looks more appealing.  It allows the vegetable to be cooked faster.  Faster cooking means the vegetable retains the crunch and flavour, hence tastier.


2) How to slice onion for stir-frying.  If you sit the onion on a chopping board,  you should slice it from side to side, after cut into half (see picture on right) and not top-down .  Reason: Onion sliced in this manner cooks faster.  Since stir-frying requires short cooking time (ie, you have only a short time to cook & soften the onion to release the natural sweetness), onion sliced in this manner results in better taste.  On the other hand, if you are preparing your onions for soups and stews (ie. long cooking time), you should cut your onions in big chunks, top-down manner.


3) Sticky pan after cooking your pasta?  Fret not, just pour the hot pasta water into the pan and leave it.  Take your time to enjoy your pasta.  When you finished your pasta, the pan is ready for a quick easy wash.

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