Orecchiette with Fennel and Tuna

I am constantly amazed at the ease of preparation for Jacques Pépin's recipes from his "Fast Food My Way" cookbooks. The marriage of pine nuts, garlic, raisins, tuna and fennel in this recipe is perfection, and the shape of the orecchiette pasta works well. For a quick meal, try this fabulous combination!



1/3 c. olive oil
1-1/2 c. chopped onions
3 T. pine nuts
1-1/2 T. chopped garlic
2 T. golden raisins
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. finely ground black pepper
2 cans (6-oz. each) tuna
1 fennel bulb cut into very thin slices
3 T. water
1 lb. orecchiette pasta
grated parmesan cheese

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onion and pine nuts and sauté for 1 minute. Add the garlic, raisins, parsley, 1-1/2 tsp. salt, and pepper. Crumble the tuna and add it with its juice to the pan and cook for 20 seconds. Add the fennel and water. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until most of the water is gone and the fennel is tender. Transfer mixture to a bowl large enough to hold the cooked pasta.

Add the pasta to the boiling water, return to a boil and boil the pasta for about 8-10 minutes.

Add 1/2 c. pasta water to the tuna and fennel mixture in the bowl and drain the pasta. Add pasta to the bowl, toss well, and serve with grated parmesan and a sprinkling of the fennel fronds.

– Jacques Pépin, "More Fast Food My Way"