Fedelini with Tuna and Chickpeas

Dairy Free, pasta, Quick Meals

As I’ve mentioned, my dad has never been very adept in the kitchen. I believe the man has three specialties: french toast, macaroni and cheese, and scrambled eggs. He also does a pretty good job of making cheese toast, though his tuna salad tends to be a bit on the mayonaisey side. Once I bit into a peanut butter sandwich my dad made, and it took 5 minutes to unstick my tongue from the roof of my mouth. Another time, he put my favorite Alvin and the Chipminks straw into a mug of hot chocolate and I got a nice sip of melted plastic along with my cocoa. Luckily he is exccellent at other things, like woodworking, crafts, reading stories and encasing books with protective plastic coverings — he is also a very good eater.

This recipe reminds me a little of my dad because it contains things he likes, such as noodles and tuna, and things I like: chickpeas, tomatoes, parsley and sauteed onions. Also, it’s relatively easy and quick to prepare, though I wouldn’t go so far as to say that even my dad could do it.

Fedelini with Tuna and Chickpeas, from Food and Wine Magazine’s Quick Pastas from Scratch cookbook

I love this cookbook. Last week my friend Sharon Kitchens asked me to contribute a list of my favorite cookbooks to a piece she was doing on her blog, Delicious Musings. She wanted contributers to narrow down their list to 5 choices. I had a little trouble with that, and in retropect, this awesome little pasta cookbook should have been up there somewhere. Unassuming at first glance, this cookbook IS the solution to the hurried dinner prep. I suggest you purchase a copy NOW while (if?) it is still in print.

As a side note, I just want to say that I have no idea what fedelini is and how it is really that different from cappelini (though I assume it’s slightly thicker, but not quite as thick as spaghetti), which is what I used. I am sure that any skinny pasta will work just fine here.

serves 4

2 Tbs cooking oil

1 small onion, cut into thin slices (I used 2 onions, ’cause I love them)

3/4 tsp fennel seeds

grated zest from half and orange

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp fresh-ground pepper

1 cup canned crushed tomatoes (I used an entire 28 oz can)

1  6-0z can tuna, packed in oil (I used two for extra protein)

15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3/4 lb fedelini (or other skinny noodles)

1/4 cup chopped parsley

In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent – about 5 minutes (I cooked mine longer, over low heat and covered the pan for a few minutes, until they began to caramelize). Add the fennel seeds and orange zest, and the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for one minute longer. Add the tomatoes and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the tuna and its oil and the chickpeas, cover, and remove the pan from the heat.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until just done (follow package instructions). Reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce, 1/4 cup of the reserved water and the parsley. If the sauce seems too thick, add the other 1/4 cup of water.

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