As part of my list of things to do for this year I have set myself a task to cook from one of Bill Granger‘s cookbooks once a fortnight (a week was too much!). I like his style of cooking, primarily because he is an australian chef, his recipes are easy to follow and good for either a quick after work dinner or an all day long cookfest. Plus he has his own tv show on foxtel so the recipes sometimes turn up in the episodes. I’m not sure about his passion for pastel colours though – I think he is the gayest straight man on television. So, to start my first recipe for this task, I decided to go for a simple and fast dish that turned out to be fantastic.
My choice was Penne with tuna, cherry tomatoes and olives on page 42 of the Holiday book. I picked it cause I had some organic penne pasta and tuna in the cupboard so all I needed were the tomatoes and olives which Pauline kindly hunted and gathered for me from the shop down the road. In Bill’s recipe he asks for tuna steaks but this was short notice so I just went with two cans which didn’t look as pretty but still had the fantastic taste. He also wanted anchovies but I didn’t have any of those either, so I substituted them with baby capers which provided the salt flavour that anchovies deliver. I also ditched the basil leaves. You’d think for all my substitutions that it would be lacking in taste, but with the garlic and chillies this meal ended up being fantastic. Pauline and I went back for seconds and she said this one is to go on the “make again list”.
I’m not going to go in to the specifics of the recipe as I’m not sure what the copyright is, but basically it’s as simple as cooking the pasta, heating up lots of olive oil, throwing in the chillies and garlic for about a minute until they smell wonderful and then warming up the tomatoes, olives, capers and tuna. Mix in with pasta and serve with a lot of pepper and salt. Fantastico!