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Spontaneous Meals : Pantry Raid

July 07, 1994|RUSS PARSONS | TIMES FOOD MANAGING EDITOR

1 (6 1/2-ounce) can oil-packed tuna

1/4 cup butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons capers

1 tablespoon finely minced parsley

Crackers or bread rounds, optional

Finely mince garlic by dropping in feed tube of running food processor. Turn food processor off and add tuna, butter and olive oil. Process until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. Add capers and parsley and pulse once or twice to stir. Serve on crackers or bread rounds. Makes 3/4 cup.

Each tablespoon contains about:

75 calories; 104 mg sodium; 13 mg cholesterol; 6 grams fat; 0 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams protein; 0.01 grams fiber.

*

\o7 This is one of those things that can be done in 15 minutes and looks like a million bucks. The flavors are bright and complex, and it is just perfect for warm weather. Cut the balsamic vinegar in half, and you can even serve the tomato sauce as a cold soup.

\f7

TOMATO-GOAT CHEESE APPETIZER

2 cloves garlic

1 (28-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons capers, with liquid

Salt, pepper

1/2 pound fresh goat cheese

1 tablespoon finely sliced fresh basil

Olive oil

Finely mince garlic by dropping in feed tube of running food processor. Add tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and puree just until slightly chunky. Add capers. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Combine goat cheese and basil in small bowl. Beat until smooth. Mound in middle of sheet of plastic wrap. Spread lightly to make rectangle, form in cylinder using plastic wrap, then twist ends to pack tightly. Unmold and carefully cut into slices.

Divide tomato puree among 6 soup plates. Place 1 goat cheese slice in center of each. Drizzle over with 1 teaspoon olive oil per serving. Makes 6 servings.

Each serving contains about:

169 calories; 424 mg sodium; 17 mg cholesterol; 13 grams fat; 6 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams protein; 0.62 grams fiber.

*

\o7 This is one of those perennial summertime dishes that gets repeated over and over again in different Italian cookbooks. Each has a slightly different version. This one is mine. If the salad is a little looser than you like it, reduce the amount of oil.

\f7

TUNA-WHITE BEAN SALAD

1/2 medium red onion

2 (15-ounce) cans white (cannellini) beans, drained and rinsed

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon finely minced garlic

2 tablespoons finely minced parsley

2 (6 1/2-ounce) cans oil-packed tuna, drained

Remove ends from onion. Thinly slice onion widthwise to make thin rings. Place rings in strainer and submerge in cold water while salad is being prepared.

Combine beans, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and parsley in large mixing bowl. Stir well to combine. Add tuna and stir gently, being careful not to break chunks of fish up too much. Spoon into serving bowl.

Remove onion with strainer from cold water. Rinse briefly under running cold water. Gently squeeze dry in corner of tea towel. Scatter onion across top of serving bowl. Makes 6 servings.

Each serving contains about:

653 calories; 241 mg sodium; 11 mg cholesterol; 13 grams fat; 86 grams carbohydrates; 51 grams protein; 8.43 grams fiber.

*

\o7 This recipe, from "Paula Wolfert's World of Food," comes together in the time it takes to bring the pasta water to a boil; it is compulsively edible. The toasted bread crumbs are a distinctively Sicilian twist--as cookbook writer Anna Tasca Lanza says: "We Sicilians are greedy and like to have big mouthfuls of food."

\f7

PASTA WITH ANCHOVIES AND TOASTED BREAD CRUMBS

1/3 cup fruity extra-virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, halved

2 to 3 dashes hot red-pepper flakes

10 salted anchovies, filleted, soaked in milk 10 minutes, drained and cut small

1/2 pound thin spaghetti

2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/2 cup toasted coarse bread crumbs

Heat olive oil in heavy skillet. Add garlic. Gently cook over medium heat 2 minutes, or until golden. Discard garlic and remove skillet from heat. Add red-pepper flakes and anchovies. Mash to puree with wooden spoon. Reheat gently, stirring 1 minute to blend flavors. Remove pan from heat before oil gets too hot.

Cook spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente. While pasta is cooking, transfer 3 tablespoons pasta cooking water to anchovy-oil mixture and reheat gently. Drain pasta, transfer to skillet and toss with hot sauce. Divide evenly onto 4 heated dishes. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve at once. Pass bread crumbs for sprinkling on top of each serving. Makes 4 servings.

Each serving contains about:

439 calories; 461 mg sodium; 9 mg cholesterol; 20 grams fat; 52 grams carbohydrates; 12 grams protein; 0.27 grams fiber.

Food styling by Donna Deane and Mayi Brady

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