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Pasta with Fresh Tuna and Tomatoes

This is an easy, no-cook summer pasta sauce using fresh garden tomatoes combined with lightly seared tuna chunks, fresh herbs, and olives. (It really won’t have the same flavor using canned tomatoes.)

Serves 4 to 5

  • 1 1-pound tuna steak, approximately 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 1 tablespoon mixed spice rub (either lemon-pepper, Cajun, or your own combination)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, separated
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced (a garlic press works well)
  • 2 pounds summer tomatoes, seeds squeezed out, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh herbs, such as oregano and parsley, chopped
  • 1 pound penne or similar pasta
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 6 basil leaves for garnish

1. Cut the tuna steak into 2 pieces. Cut each piece in half horizontally, to make 2 thinner pieces (you’ll have 4 pieces altogether). Place the spice mix on a plate and coat both sides of the tuna. Heat a large, heavy skillet to medium high. Add a coating of oil (less than 1 tablespoon) and sear until a thin crust forms, about 30 to 60 seconds. Turn the tuna over and sear the other side. Remove to a plate and set aside.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

3. Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil to the same pan the tuna was cooked in. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the diced tomatoes and herbs to warm, then turn off the heat.

4. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, and immediately add pasta to the skillet with the tomatoes.

5. Slice the tuna steaks evenly into 3/4-inch thick pieces. Mix with the olives into the pasta to warm. Portion to plates and garnish each with a torn basil leaf.

This recipe was originally published with the article, Appreciating Tuna.

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