Monday, November 12, 2007

Artichoke Pasta With A Creamy Cheesy Tuna-Artichoke Sauce

Warning: If you've come to this blog looking for my more traditional low carb offerings, skip this post. This dish is high in fat and high in carbs and utterly, decadently delicious. If that floats your boat, read on.

So, what got into me? It was the pasta's fault. I couldn't resist. I went into my favorite Italian market and deli (Roy's Toscano Market in Eureka, CA) the other day and these jumped out at me. So softly green. Made in Italy. Two ingredients: Durum wheat semolina and dried artichokes. Produced by Maestri Pastai, the pasta is made using bronze draw plates that give it a rough surface and allows sauces to adhere better. I was doomed.

Then I had to come up with a sauce, didn't I? "Why didn't I skip this step and just glue it to my hips?" is what I ask no one in particular when I've indulged in something as highly caloric as this. Thank goodness I don't indulge very often.

Truly a what's-in-the-pantry sauce, I even managed to use a few locally produced ingredients which delights me no end:
Carvalho's "minimal mercury" hand packed white coastal albacore (see Cook's Notes), Midnight Moon aged goat cheese, Humboldt Creamery half n half, cipollini onion and garlic from the farmers market. It almost makes up for the calories. Almost.

Creamy, Cheesy Tuna-Artichoke Sauce Over Artichoke Pasta
Christine's original recipe
4 cups (about 1 pound) artichoke pasta or other small-shaped pasta
kosher salt for the pasta water
olive oil
1 cipollini onion, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 7.5-ounce can premium albacore tuna, broken up with a fork
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, cut into small bites
1 3/4 cup half n half
1 1/2 cups grated Midnight Moon goat cheese
1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
pinch red pepper flakes
kosher salt and freshly ground black peppercorns to taste
fried capers for garnish

Fill a pasta or stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Add at least 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta. Bring back to a boil then lower the heat and keep at a simmer until the pasta is just tender.
Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil, toss and keep warm, covered.
In a skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the chopped onion and sauté until softened.
Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir until the garlic has softened but not browned.
Add the tuna and the cut up artichoke hearts and stir until warmed through.
Pour in the cream and bring just to a simmer. Do not allow to boil or it will curdle.
Off the heat, add the cheeses, stirring until melted.
Adjust seasonings with Kosher salt and black pepper to taste.
To serve, place the pasta on a warmed plate, spoon the sauce over the pasta and garnish with a few fried capers.

Cook's Notes:
Carvalho's hand-packed albacore is roasted in the can in its own juices so please don't throw the liquid down the drain. Just stir it into the sauce with the tuna.
I highly recommend frying up a handful of capers before beginning to make this dish. It takes no time at all and really gives the sauce a flavor punch.

Copyright © 2005-2007, Christine Cooks. All rights reserved


  1. Christine, this pasta is very creative of you and I've never tried fried capers before...I've learned something new again, thanks!

  2. Wow! I guess decadent is the word. You know, I have never tried Midnight Moon: I usually get Mt. McKinley. Next time I'll get some.

  3. I would have done the same - I mean, how could you possibly pass up that pasta? It was crying for a cream sauce....
    Skinny hips are over-rated!

  4. I'd love a bite. Please.


  5. Shucks Christine a girl just sometimes has to go overboard. I'm right with you on this one! That pasta must be extra special.

  6. Thank you Peter.

    It's great cheese Simona. I recomment it.

    I'm with you Katie. I definitely do not have skinny hips!

    Paz, I'd love to share!

    Thanks, Tanna. The pasta was unique, that's for sure.

  7. Okay, you go on, blame the pasta :)

  8. It's always the pasta's fault, trust me.

  9. Sometimes we need to leave those low carbs off the plate for awhile-this certainly made my mouth water!


Thank you for stopping by! I will do my best to respond to your comments and questions so feel free to write to me here. Sorry for the comment moderation but it helps to keep the spammers at bay.