Can pasta be typecast?
Once I started putting penne into pasta bakes I didn’t stop. Penne always became associated with pasta bakes. But of course ‘penne arrabiata’ is a famous loose pasta dish. One online resource lists 17 favourite penne pasta dishes – 10 are not baked.
So if your penne is being typecast in a baking role – remember, it’s also very good served unbaked in a loose sauce – as in this tuna penne pasta dish.
Can tinned tuna and tomato ever be happy together?
This is a tricky one – it seems a counter-intuitive combo. The tomato is harsh on the delicate tuna yet the tuna’s fishiness is accentuated in the neutral tomato sauce. They seem to fight each other. The tomato sauce is screaming for meat and cheese while the tuna is crying out for a white sauce with white wine, celery, parsley and dill – or wants to be served cold with cucumber, olive oil, mayonnaise, eggs and chives… But think margarita pizza with tomato and anchovies, tinned mackerel in a tomato sauce, or roast cod with tomatoes. There are many precedents to prove that tuna and tomato can get on happily with each other…
So here is what has turned out to be a great pasta sauce. Serve (unbaked) with penne.