One pot tuna olive and capers pasta

Working full time I always try to find recipes that won’t take much time to prepare and also limit the wash up afterwards. I never knew I could cook pasta in a single pot in less than 10 minutes until I bought my first pressure cooker. Then I started searching the web and found that sailors are more accustomed to that use of the pressure cooker. On a sailboat is really hard to cook meals with lot of pots, and having one that allows for quick cooking and is tightly closed is the best way to have a meal ready in no time without worrying too much.

If you are like me and always looking for easy, tasty and quick recipes, this one is for you.Whip up your dinner or lunch in less than 10 min with foods you have in your cupboard!

The only downside is you won’t be able to cook long pasta like spaghetti, but for recipes like this, short pasta is best.

Pressure cooker

This recipe is super easy and if you have a pressure cooker or an electric multipurpose pot you’ll find it a real discovery! The pressure cooker will cook the pasta in half the time and, since with pressure inside the boil comes quickly it will reduce the cooking time by more than half. But the advantages won’t end here: actually cooking pasta or risotto in a pressure cooker will allow you to save water, energy and see the difference in the energy bill at the end of the month.
When you cook pasta the traditional way, you need to use a lot of water, a lot of time to let it boil and then you throw the water way as soon as the pasta is ready. You won’t appreciate the difference in a one-time cooking, but when you’ll start using this method more often you’ll notice the saving. The pressure cooker keeps the pressure and the boiling long after you turn off the stove and that allows for a huge saving in energy consumption, since pasta needs only a few minutes to cook, you can bring the pot to the point of pressure, let it go at full pressure for a couple of minutes then turn off the heat and let it cook with the residual heat. Usually I keep the stove turned on for no more than 7/8 minutes from start to finish.

More taste, less waste

Cooking pasta in a pressure cooker is a great way to get a very tasty pasta while reducing the salt content. Since you cook all the ingredients together, the pasta will absorb all the taste of the condiments and become more tastier, than the one you cook in salty boiling water. This also allows for reducing the waste of nutrients and water. You’ll only use the amount of water needed to be absorbed by the pasta, meaning in the end you won’t need to drain it, and throw it away. Many foods loose some of their nutritional value when cooked in water, this way, all the water soluble nutrients in the sauce will be absorbed by the pasta.

Health facts

This pasta is not only delicious and easy, but also packed full of good nutrients for your body. As we already know, tomatoes contains lycopene and in this recipe we also pair this antioxidant with omega 3 fatty acids from the fish (tuna or mackerel), vitamins in the parsley (to be added raw in the end and not cooked!). But also capers and olives are very good for your health, containing hydroxytyrosol that helps fighting the growth of white fat in our body.

Ingredients

  • 320gr of pasta
  • 1 can of tuna or mackerel
  • 2 tablespoons of olives
  • 1 tablespoon of capers – washed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon of sun-dried tomato paste
  • 150ml of tomato passata
  • 1 garlic clove
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a small bunch of parsley

Method

Step 1
Drain the fish and pat it dry with a paper towel, chop the capers and slice the olives.

Step 2
Put the, fish, olives, capers tomato paste and and tomato passata in the pot and turn on the heat. Add the garlic crushed or mashes (you could use dried garlic powder instead) and the cayenne pepper, cook for a minute then add the pasta and add enough water to barely cover the pasta, add a pinch of salt and black pepper.

Step 3
Close the lid, turn the heat to high and let the pressure cooker rich the pressure. When it whistles turn the heat to medium low and cook for 1/3 of the time indicated on the package. For example, if the cooking time is 8 min. cook for 3 minutes then turn off the heat. Allow the pot to release all the pressure and the pasta is done.  Sprinkle with the parsley and the extra virgin olive oil.
You might need a few trials to get the perfect al dente consistency but it is definitely worth  a try!

Tips and tricks

Adding the parsley only in the end will retain all the vitamins.
Every pressure cooker is different, you might want to check if yours came with some pasta recipe or cooking time.
To release the pressure quicker, you can put the pot under cold running water, but you’ve got to be very careful when doing it, hot water could splash on you and burn your skin. The sun-dried tomato paste is optional, if you do not have it simply skip it.
You could substitute tuna or mackerel for anchovies.

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