Tomato Sauce with Tuna and Capers

Tomato Sauce with Tuna and Capers

I know you guys are probably getting tired of all this ‘resourceful in the kitchen’ nonsense.   You’re probably asking yourself, “Man, does this chick ever have food in her kitchen?”

onion skin

Well, I do buy groceries, I promise, but without fail by the end of the week I’m scrounging.   Oddly enough the meals I don’t plan to make often turn out the most blog worthy (go figure).  But, I do have a personal mission to be as resourceful in the kitchen as possible.  I want to be able to make something amazing out of a ridiculous hodgepodge of ingredients like it ‘aint no thang!  What it really comes down to is I hate waste, I love creativity and can’t abide bad food.  Simple really.

Last night, I almost didn’t pull it off.  I was feeling creatively drained and since the beau’s birthday is tomorrow I knew I had a lot of cooking and baking ahead of me (not that that’s a hardship), so I was considering conserving my energy by ordering a pizza.  But then I thought of dear Audrey in Sabrina, and I managed pulled this little number together.

Tuna, zucchini, capers, lemon

Have you ever seen the movie Sabrina, the original with Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart?  Well do remember the part where Sabrina somehow makes dinner for Linus out of maraschino cherries, stale crackers, tomato juice, puffed rice and sardines?  Of course we never see the finished product, but I spent a large portion of my adolescence trying to figure what she could’ve concocted and I still have nothing.  Anyway, for some reason that part of the movie stuck with me (clearly I was born to be a food nerd) and out of that simple scene my life long ambition to make something out of nothing took root.

zucchini

So here is my riff on Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce with butter and onion that has been floating around the blogisphere for sometime now.  I of course ignored the simplistic beauty of the recipe by adding a bunch of other stuff (I always take things a step too far), but I was quite pleased with the results.  My beau said it was his new favorite pasta sauce.  I nodded and smiled stoically, while I did back flips of joy in my head!  My love is a man of few words, so when I get a compliment I know he means it!

lemon, capers

In the recipe they suggest you discard the onion, but why waste something so delicious.  I served it atop the pasta, but I think placing it on garlic bread would be unbelievable as well.  So many options, so little stomach space.

Onion

So, so yummy and relatively summer friendly!

Tomato Sauce with Tuna and Capers: Serves 4-6

Loosely adapted from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan via Steamy Kitchen

1 can crushed tomatoes

5 tbsp salted butter

1 medium sized onion, peeled and halved

1 can flaked tuna, drained

2 tbsp capers, drained

1 zucchini, shredded

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

Zest of half a lemon

2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Splash of balsamic vinegar

Garnish:

Splash of balsamic

Fresh parsley

Fresh ground pepper

Directions:

Place tomatoes, butter and onion in a heavy bottom pot over medium high heat.

Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low and cook for 35 minutes.

Place shredded zucchini in a small bowl and toss with salt (the salt will extract moisture). Set aside for ten minutes.

Transfer the zucchini to cheesecloth and squeeze out excess moisture.  Set Aside.

When the 35 minutes is up check the sauce. Remove onion.

Add sugar and balsamic and stir to combine.

Stir in tuna, zucchini, capers and lemon zest and cook for an additional ten minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in parsley.

Serve over cooked pasta of your choice (I used bucatini) and top with onion.

Serve with fresh parsley, ground pepper and a drizzle of balsamic.

Thin Crust Genoa Salami Pizza

Whenever I ask my beau what he would like for dinner the answer is inevitably pizza and I can honestly say I am not always happy to oblige.  If this surprises you I challenge you to try eating an unreasonable amount of pizza for the next three years and see how you feel about it. Every now and then, however, my beau and I are on the same page and experience a mutual craving for that classic Italian pie.

Red Pepper

To me, Friday is the perfect pizza night. As a child my family never really ate takeout that much, but on the odd Friday, and it was always a Friday for some reason, my parents would spring for a pizza and it would be like Christmas came early.

Genoa Salami

In honor of this beloved childhood tradition I whipped up a pizza last Friday night. I came across an astounding recipe for a no-rise crust (yes, such a thing does exist) and in mere moments the pizza was dressed and bubbling in the oven.

Pizza

I selected a decadent outfit of chewy Genoa salami, juicy red pepper, bitter-sweet red onions, lush basil leaves and, of course, a hefty helping of shredded mozzarella cheese. After a brief 15-minute stint in the oven dinner was served and I was chowing down on a sumptuous slice in my sock feet in front of Netflix.

Thin Crust Genoa Salami Pizza

The perfect kick-off to a stellar weekend, this thin crust Genoa salami pizza will more than fit the bill.

Pizza Slice

Thin Crust Genoa Salami Pizza: Serves 4

FOR THE CRUST: Adapted from here.

1 package of yeast

1 cup warm water

2 ½ cup all purpose flour

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

TOPPINGS:

1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded

6 slices Genoa salami

½ red bell pepper, sliced

¼ red onion, diced

I cup pizza sauce

6-10 Basil leaves

Sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes

Fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°

Place water and yeast in a mixing bowl and let stand for 5-10 minutes or until frothy.

Add olive oil to the water yeast combo.

Shift together salt, sugar and flour in a separate bowl.

Using a dough hook attachment, add dry mixture to wet in ½ cup increments until the dough comes together to form a slightly tacky ball.

Remove dough from mixer and lightly knead.

Leave to rest covered by a clean tea towel for ten minutes.

Divide dough in two and stretch one half to fit an 11-inch pizza pan.

Place other half in the fridge for another time or form into a second pizza.

Spread pizza sauce over the dough and sprinkle with chili pepper flakes and ½ the red onion.

Sprinkle with cheese and arrange the salami so it is evenly distributed over the entire pizza.

Top with remaining red onion, red pepper and basil leaves.

Place in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes rotating halfway through.

When golden and bubbling, remove from the oven and let stand for ten minutes before slicing.

Serve with a sprinkling of fresh ground pepper and a nice cold beer.