I have mentioned once that pasta could be prepared onboard a charter yacht in hundreds of ways and always tastes fabulous… And I also promised that I would share with you some ideas…
This time I’m in the mood for preparing some pasta at my home and that gave me the inspiration to share with you one of my favorite quick pasta meals.
It is fusilli, corkscrew shaped pasta also known as rotini in US. However, I like fusilli for their shape which makes them easy to catch on the plate while the sauce gets easily between the surfaces of each ‘screw’ making each of them rich with taste while none of the sauce is wasted.
It is disgraceful to talk about food so technically and rationally but sometimes it matters when it comes to practicality of the food served onboard.
Let’s get back to the kitchen! Fusilli, as my favorite pasta shape could be prepared with literally any kind of sauce but I would like to share with you a classic and probably typical sauce recipe.
Since it takes some more time to prepare the sauce than the pasta I suggest you start with the sauce. Warm some olive oil on the deep pan and squeeze five cloves of garlic as the oil warms up. Make sure that the garlic is not fried. You may also cut the garlic into extra fine and thin pieces using an extra sharp knife. Some use the razor blade, as shown in “Goodfellas” by Martin Scorsese…
However, the idea is to spread the taste of garlic all over the oil in which you will add peeled and cut tomatoes. You can also use tinned peeled tomatoes. The sauce should be gently stirred and cooked on low heat. Whenever you prepare tomato sauces make sure that you add at least one teaspoon of sugar, just to neutralize tomato acids.
As soon as the sauce gets denser, lower the fire to the minimum and add tuna chunks – preferably tinned but remove the oil before you put them in the sauce. Leave the sauce on minimum fire and stir it from time to time while you prepare the pasta.
Boil the water; add some salt and a few drops of ordinary oil (sunflower, soya, etc.) in it. I always put some oil in boiling water when I cook pasta because my grandma used to do so, explaining me that this way pasta would not be sticky after cooking. Some people put some butter, margarine or oil in pasta after cooking to avoid sticking but I prefer the old school way.
Fusilli should be cooked according to the instruction on the package – believe me, if you stick to the instructions completely you will never fail! A minute before the fusilli are ready get back to your sauce and add some dried oregano leaves or thinly sliced fresh basil leaves.
Never mix the pasta and the sauce before serving. The proper way is to share plain pasta into portions and let your company put sauce on their own plates. Make sure there is enough grana padano or parmigiano reggiano accompanied by a grinder on the table to make a perfect combination with pasta and sauce. A glass of red wine is not necessary but wouldn’t be redundant…
Upgraded version of this sauce can be easily done if you substitute tuna chunks with ricotta cheese; and oregano or basil with pickled capers. Any other combination with these ingredients is welcome as much as your ideas and comments.
The moral of this story is – when you charter a sailboat, ask your skipper for the best pasta recipe. Enjoy!
I wish you a calm sea, a fine wind and a strong mast!