We had friends from the UK this weekend and spent most of it sightseeing and eating out, which meant very little cooking. However, a late start to the day today meant a late breakfast and therefore, a very late lunch. We all got hungry around 3:30pm however being a Monday* in Paris meant that some restaurants were either closed, or the lunch hour was over. Not even Pizza Hut’s lunch service was still open (we tried!). And McDonalds was definitely out of the question – urggghhh.
Having only 1 hour until our friends had to leave for the Eurostar, we had to find decent food fast (and sandwiches weren’t going to do the job here!)! Hence, we headed back to our place for a speedy meal.
I have to say, I’m a lazy cook and love being able to throw everything into 1 saucepan or pot to produce something both tasty and edible at the end. (I’m also pretty crap at food presentation but that’s a whole other issue!)
Anyway, being in a rush today and not having planned on cooking a meal, I didn’t have much at all in my fridge, so tuna pasta was the quickest solution.
Here’s my solution to 4 hungry people needing sustenance immediately:
- Spaghetti or any other type of pasta for 4 people
- 4 tomatoes diced
- 1 onion diced
- Minced garlic to taste (I used about 3 BIG cloves – I love garlic)
- 2 256g cans of tuna (Don’t ask me why the cans were 256g and not something “round” like 250 or 200g!)
- Broccoli or zucchini chopped into small pieces
- 1tbs tomato paste
- ½ cup light cream (add more if you prefer a creamier sauce)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Boil water in a saucepan, add the spaghetti or pasta, cook to al dente and drain (takes roughly 7 minutes). When I was young, my dad used to tell me that if you took the spaghetti and threw it against the wall and it stuck there, it was cooked! Needless to say, my mum wasn’t very impressed when she saw spaghetti stuck to the walls of her kitchen! Anyway, I’m digressing…
While the pasta is boiling, brown the onion in a saucepan over a low fire until translucent and fragrant (2 minutes). Add the garlic and brown slightly (1.5 minutes). My French father-in-law (who’s a great cook) tells me that garlic should not be sautéed for too long otherwise it gets bitter (something like that anyway). However, I actually like my garlic sautéed until it’s brown. In Malaysia, we cooked garlic in oil until it was nice and brown, and then used the “garlic sauce” as a condiment for jook. Digressing again…
Add the diced tomatoes and cook until soft (2 minutes). Mix the tomato paste and tuna into the saucepan and cook till slightly bubbling (1 minute). Add the vegetables and heat until tender (I like my vegetables crunchy so this usually takes about 2 minutes). Lastly, add the cream and the salt and pepper. If the sauce is too dry, add a little water.
I then usually throw in the drained pasta and mix well with the sauce.
And voila, roughly 9 minutes later, a meal for 4!
* In France, some shops and restaurants close on Monday if they’ve been open on Saturday.